The guide includes 250-word candidate statements that, according to a footnote in the information guide itself, are not checked for accuracy and “do not necessarily represent the views or opinions of the Secretary of State’s office.”
One candidate for governor used quite a bit fewer than 250 words for her candidate statement.
“F all politicians.” That’s the statement from Mariana Dawson, write-in candidate for California’s Gubernatorial race. Dawson claims no political affiliation and appears on page 23 of the official voter information guide.
On May 27, Dawson officially ended her campaign for California’s Gubernatorial race, saying that she was instead “refocusing on running next year in a recall election,” but not before her candidate statement made waves across the internet, leaving many asking what it takes to have a candidate statement printed in the official voter information guide.
Fourteen candidates for governor are listed in the information guide. According to California’s Secretary of State, the voter information guide is meant to help Californians make “informed decisions and prepare for the June 7, 2022, Primary Election.”
In order to declare candidacy for governor, a candidate needs to submit their declaration as per the rules set by their county election’s office. According to Fresno County’s election office, the cost of filing as a candidate for governor is $4,371.12 (which is equivalent to 2% of the governor’s salary), and the fee needs to be paid when the candidate files their declaration that they intend to run for office. A candidate also has the option of entering signatures in lieu of a filing fee, which for the office of governor requires 4,750 signatures.
In the guide itself, the rules on who can participate in the voter information guide are outlined. California law places a voluntary spending limit on candidates running for state office, the guide states, adding that candidates can buy space for a candidate statement if they accept the spending limit. For the gubernatorial race, the spending limit in 2022 is $9,728,000.
“The order of the statements was determined by randomized drawing. Each statement was submitted and paid for by the candidate,” says the Official Voter Information Guide. “A candidate who did not submit a statement may be otherwise qualified to appear on the ballot.”