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California gubernatorial candidate uses unusual campaigning method in Texas

Posted at 9:09 AM, Aug 19, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-19 10:50:29-04

MCLENNAN COUNTY, Texas — They might be the least likely campaign signs to ever pop up in Central Texas.

Ashane Stewart has been staring at one for months now.

“Who the heck is Kevin?" asked Stewart.

It's not that she's never seen a political billboard, it's simply that the one posted outside her apartment on Valley Mills Drive is for a gubernatorial candidate running in the California recall.

Yes, that California some 1,000 miles away.

"I didn’t really understand the meaning of it. Why is this sign right here and why is this person saying, 'Send Californians back to California,"' she said.

If the adage still holds that all politics is local, 29-year-old Kevin Paffrath might be the Millennial poster child.

“We’re in this world now, where you've got to do some out-of-the-box things to get the word out,” Paffrath told 25 News on Wednesday.

The YouTube influencer calls himself a centrist, JFK-style Democrat that can reform California, if he wins the September recall against a 40-person field trying to take down Gov. Gavin Newsom.

"Because a lot of people leave California to go to Texas, we figured people in Texas would know Californians, and they may be able to spread the word to other Californians who're still left behind, so to speak,” said Paffrath.

It also might be about building up that campaign war chest.

“He's capitalizing on the fact there’s an uptick in moving from California to Texas. He’s trying to use that to his advantage,"said Dr. Patrick Flavin, a Political Science Professor at Baylor. “He’s social media savvy, that’s sort of how he makes his money, and so it’s not really surprising that he’d be the one out of 40-plus candidates of thinking of Texans contributing to his campaign”

A recent poll shows Paffrath near the top of the recall field.

Stewart says at the very least, she might pay a little more attention to who wins in a few weeks.

“I don’t know, maybe it’s a good strategy he's got,” she said with a chuckle.