John Cox Accuses 'Insider' California Republicans of Rigging Recall Election Endorsement

Republican John Cox on Thursday accused "insider" members of the California GOP of "trickery" after one of his rivals campaigning in the state's recall election announced a new endorsement.

Cox is one of 46 candidates who will appear on California's recall election ballot this September as Democratic Governor Gavin Newsom fights to stay in office.

Cox plans to hold a press conference outside the California Republican Party's headquarters in Sacramento on Friday "to call out their dishonest dealings to rig the CA GOP endorsement vote for liberal Kevin Faulconer," according to a Thursday press release.

"Trickery. Political scheme. Moving the goalposts," Cox tweeted Thursday afternoon. "The insiders at the @CAGOP are now no better than the Democrats."

Trickery. Political scheme. Moving the goalposts. The insiders at the @CAGOP are now no better than the Democrats. #CAgov (1/5)

— John Cox (@BeastJohnCox) July 22, 2021

Cox pointed to the California Republican Party's criticisms earlier this summer of Democratic lawmakers who made adjustments to the rules surrounding the recall election timeline.

"Now the California Republican Party wishes to change their own rules to help @Kevin_Faulconer. Hypocrisy!" Cox tweeted. "With weeks until the recall, changing the party endorsement rules to favor @Kevin_Faulconer is the type of corrupt machine politics every Republican opposes."

Faulconer, the former Republican mayor of San Diego who announced his intent to run for governor in February, said he was "proud" of the endorsement by the New Majority. The organization is supported by a political action committee that contributed more than $100,000 to Republican candidates during the 2020 election cycle, according to campaign finance records compiled by OpenSecrets.

Proud to have the endorsement of @NewMajorityCA. Californians are ready for change and it starts at the top with the recall of Gavin Newsom.

I'm ready to lead the real #CAcomeback. #RecallGavinNewsom #RecallNewsom #Recall

— Kevin Faulconer (@Kevin_Faulconer) July 22, 2021

The New Majority announced it was endorsing Faulconer shortly after noon local time. According to New Majority Chairman Howard Hakes, Faulconer, "is our best hope to get California back on track."

"Proud to have the endorsement of @NewMajorityCA," Faulconer tweeted. "Californians are ready for change and it starts at the top with the recall of Gavin Newsom."

Cox's campaign said the CA GOP's endorsement rule changes mark "an unprecedented move" and suggested those changes would "benefit one candidate, liberal Kevin Faulconer."

"As an outsider, as a man of integrity, as someone who desperately believes we must recall Gavin Newsom to save California. I won't stand for it," Cox said.

Cox has gained attention in recent months for the live bear he brought out on the campaign trail. Last month, Cox traded the bear for an eight-foot ball of trash, which his campaign said "symbolizes the damage done by homelessness in California."

Prior to his involvement in the recall effort targeting Newsom, Cox ran on the Republican ticket against Newsom in the state's 2018 gubernatorial race. Cox has been campaigning as a conservative and is listed as a Republican on the state's certified recall candidate list.

Newsweek reached out to the California GOP for comment and will update this article with any response.

John Cox recall endorsement
California gubernatorial candidate John Cox accused "insider" members of his party of attempting to "rig" a candidate endorsement ahead of the state's recall election on September 14. Above, Cox speaks during a campaign rally at Miller Regional Park on May 4, 2021, in Sacramento, California. Justin Sullivan/Getty Images