Many Californians are barely aware they're picking a governor this year, and most think there are only three or four candidates.
But 15 candidates are on June's primary ballot. Although Gov. Jerry Brown and GOP challengers Tim Donnelly and Neel Kashkari are the prominent names, some other contenders' websites offer a sumptuous buffet of platforms and rhetoric too tasty to miss.
Alma Winston, a San Jose Republican whose company finds funding for socially responsible projects, would address the gun rights/gun control debate by setting phasers to stun. "Consider alternative technologies to 're-invent' the gun as to be less intended for destruction and elimination and more towards stopping and deterring, as in a laser-type of defensive weaponry that offers a less than fatal outcome." Zap!
Some invoke a higher power. Nonpartisan candidate Janel Buycks, a minister and staffing agency founder from Lakewood, peppered her website with biblical quotations and said she's "ordained, Approved, and Endorsed by JESUS CHRIST!"
Maybe that's a dual endorsement. Republican Glenn Champ from rural Fresno County is a registered sex offender who also did prison time for voluntary manslaughter, but says he's a changed man and "a new breed of Christian soldier moving forward in the army of the lord, on the highway of righteousness, stomping on the devil's head, with a new song of righteousness's [sic] in our hearts."
Democrat Akinyemi Agbede, a Fresno doctoral student, calls himself a "Super Genius" who will "forever make the state of California a permanent leading state in the country and that the beautiful smiling faces of the people of California will forever be permanent." That's sweet, coming from someone new to the state: Agbede ran for a Florida mayor's office in 2010 and almost sought that state's U.S. Senate seat in 2012. But he really, really means it: "The state of California will Never! Never!! Never!!! EVER REGRET it by electing AKINYEMI AGBEDE to be their next governor."
Akinyemi Agbede (D), doctoral student from Fresno -- http://thenextgovernorofcalifornia2014.com/
Jerry Brown (D), governor from Oakland -- http://www.jerrybrown.org/
Richard Aguirre (D), real estate investor from San Diego -- http://aguirreforgovernor.com/
Andrew Blount* (R), mayor of Laguna Hills -- http://www.andrewblount.com/
Glenn Champ (R), contractor from Tollhouse (Fresno County) -- http://www.champforgovernor.com/
Tim Donnelly (R), Assemblyman from Twin Peaks -- http://www.electtimdonnelly.com/
Neel Kashkari (R), former Treasury Department official from Laguna Beach -- http://www.neelkashkari.com/
Alma Marie Winston (R), project funding executive from San Jose -- http://www.winston4gov.com/
Luis Rodriguez (G), author & community organizer from San Fernando -- http://rodriguezforgovernor.org/
Cindy Sheehan (P&F), activist & nonprofit director from Vacaville -- http://www.cindy2014.org/
Bo Ambrozewicz (NPP), small business owner from Greenwood (El Dorado County) -- http://www.boambroz.com/
Janel Buycks (NPP), minister and staffing agency owner from Lakewood (LA County) -- http://www.janelbuycksforchange.com/
Rakesh Kumar Christian (NPP), small business owner from Hayward -- http://americanpublicparty.com/
Joe Leicht (NPP), golf-course operator from San Clemente -- http://www.joeforgov.org/
Robert Newman (NPP), retired psychologist from Redlands -- http://robertnewman.nationbuilder.com/
*withdrew from race last week