California is on the cusp of a historic moment. The Golden State is gearing up for its second gubernatorial recall election in state history, in which voters will decide whether Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) should be removed from office and, in the affirmative, which should replace it.
2003 was the only other year in which a recall petition succeeded in generating an election for a new governor. That year, Gray Davis was recalled and former actor / bodybuilder Arnold Schwarzenegger was elected.
This year, most pundits and political commentators are not convinced that any of the 41 candidates who voted had enough power or support to be a serious competitor to Newsom, which enjoys fairly solid backing from the side. majority Democrats in the state. But, pundits also say that if Democrats don’t take the election seriously, and some early polls have shown many are less engaged in recall elections than Republicans, things might turn out differently for Newsom.
The candidates who submitted their documents on time and cast the ballot are a motley team that includes people from many professions, including celebrities, politicians, academics, pastors – and yes, real estate agents.
David Bramante (R) and Kevin Paffrath (D) are both polling agents and are hoping to have the chance to leave their mark on California politics. Inman recently sat down with the two candidates to learn more about why they decided to switch from real estate to hopeful gubernatorialism. Here is what they had to say.
Team leader Douglas Elliman in pursuit of his dreams
Between running two businesses and helping raise three children, David Bramante, who is The Bramante Group team leader at Douglas Elliman, has never had time to follow sports teams. Instead, he said, he has been an active spectator of politics.
“For me to follow politics and what is going on because there are real ramifications in the politics going on, for me it is a real sport that I have watched all my life,” Bramante told Inman .
Bramante grew up around politics – his mother studied and passed the California bar exam as an adult, while also raising Bramante and her brother as a single mother – so he became interested in it early on.
After a first stint in fine arts school, Bramante eventually switched to studying political science and journalism at UCLA. In recent years he’s started to think more and more about running for some sort of local office, but once the pandemic hits and he sees how much of an impact it has had on his own businesses, and those of the people around him, he felt it was time to get involved and start finding solutions.
In addition to getting the California economy back on track by ending the state’s current state of emergency, Bramante said some of his main goals as a potential governor are to bring both sides of the world together. gone for conversations and healings, and to allow more solid personal freedoms.
âIt’s like a lot of people are now really afraid to have honest conversations with each other, from what I’ve been through,â Bramante said. âPeople don’t really want to engage in philosophical or political conversations about the company, and instead everyone puts everyone in different boxes with different labels, saying ‘they’re Team A “and” I’m the B team “and they’re not really trying to engage and figure things out, even just locally. So I think it’s a big deal, I think it’s getting worse. “
Bramante says he’s worried that some of the conversation surrounding vaccines is creeping into a place where the government ultimately mandates them, which he says is “a little nerve-racking.”
“I think we need to have difficult conversations without jumping to conclusions,” he added.
Just talking about running his campaign, Bramante said a lot of his experience with cold calls and rejections as a real estate agent has been helpful to him so far.
âWith my background in real estate, canvassing is very natural for me now,â he said. âKnocking on the door, very natural. So a lot of the things that I’ve done naturally in real estate for so long are applicable to how you build a campaign, build momentum.
On top of that, Bramante said his ability to quickly connect with people from different backgrounds would also be an asset to his potential political career. He’s also looking to leverage his experience as a developer to deal with the California housing crisis and wants input from other real estate professionals.
âThere are things like ADU [accessory dwelling units], and it’s opened up a lot of real estate for people and helped affordability, but on the other hand, some people who have homes don’t necessarily want a duplex next door, âBramante said. âSo, like every number, it has many facets. But, I’m from real estate, so I’m really looking to real estate agents what they think could be improved in Los Angeles, and also in California for our industry.
The millennial investor who wants to bring YouTube to government
Kevin Paffrath puts his name on the governor’s hat out of sheer necessity, in order to make his state more livable for him and his family.
âThe big thing that inspired me to do this was the temptation, unfortunately, to leave California,â Paffrath told Inman. “Because things like housing, homelessness, crime, schools and traffic are all things that make California the embarrassment of the country, when in reality it should be the example for the country.”
Paffrath, who studied economics and political science at UCLA, got into real estate investing as a teenager when he watched the parents of his future wife, Lauren, sell and manage properties. Paffrath ended up getting his real estate license as a freshman in college, and the couple eventually started their own business, The Paffrath Organization. Kevin was largely responsible for identifying and purchasing ready-to-invest homes, while Lauren took the helm of design and renovation decisions and managed rental properties.
Then, in 2018, Kevin launched a YouTube channel, Meet Kevin, where he shares video market commentary, investment advice, real estate tips and more. After that, he developed a strong following (he has over 1.5 million subscribers on YouTube these days) and was able to start monetizing the channel. This has helped him gain quite a bit of media attention, from media like The New York Times, CNBC and Forbes.
Now, rather than leaving California, a place his wife and children hold dear, he hopes to change it for the better using the skills he has learned, both through his formal education and his career in real estate.
âI just think it kind of came together,â Paffrath told Inman of his decision to run for governor. âI went to school of economics and political science, graduated from UCLA, been a real estate agent, broker and investor for the past 11 years. Before college and real estate, I was a law enforcement explorer [a program for young adults interested in law enforcement careers] â¦ So when I combine these experiences, they are pretty much exactly what California needs.
Paffrath has ideas on how to solve California’s affordable housing and homelessness crises, primarily by simplifying construction and safety standards so architects and builders can get jobs approved faster and generate more money. housing. He says the combined challenges of affordable housing and homelessness are probably the most pressing issues facing the state today.
âPeople live on the streets, they die on the streets,â Paffrath said. âWe have had more people dying of homelessness than gun violence in the past 12 months. And in many states gun violence has reached record levels now. “
Although Paffrath’s largest real estate business has been on hold since the start of the pandemic (he now acts largely as his own client, buying and selling properties to invest in, while his wife has mostly become the caretaker on time. full of their two children), he said he would continue to update his YouTube channel with new content throughout his gubernatorial run and that he would even like to bring that part of his career with him to the governor’s office, if elected.
âMy vision is to really bring the YouTube skills to the governor’s office and to have a dedicated governor’s office YouTube channel, and we can use that to properly and transparently educate Californians about what the heck their governor is doing for. them every day. “said Paffrath.
Paffrath added that he sees the recall election as an opportunity for Californians to give someone else a chance to be governor for a year, and if they don’t like them, they can start over in 2022.
âIt’s something quite rare – honestly, all politics should be like this. But hey, it’s not a four-year marriage this time, it’s just a one-year engagement, âhe said.
Email Lillian Dickerson