- Major Singh is a software engineer from the Bay Area, while Kevin Kishore Kaul of Long Beach is an entrepreneur and founder of the U.S. Global Business Forum.
The Sept. 14 election to recall California Gov. Gavin Newsom is gathering momentum. Californians have been receiving their mail-in ballots since last week, and every registered voter in California will have the opportunity to decide the fate of the incumbent governor. Voters have to answer two questions: Do they want to recall Newsom? And if Newsom is recalled, which candidate would they want to replace him?
46 candidates are vying to replace Newsom. Among the crowded field, which includes GOP politicians, a reality TV personality, a YouTuber, a retired detective, and several business owners, are two Indian Americans. Major Singh is a software engineer from the Bay Area and Kevin Kishore Kaul, of Long Beach, is the founder of the U.S. Global Business Forum, which fosters trade between the U.S. and the rest of the world. Both are running without any party preference.
Kaul, 59, told India Asian News Service that he arrived in South Dakota on a student visa, 30 years ago. An electrical engineer, “who made his millions as an entrepreneur” in the West Coast,” told IANS that he is upbeat about his chances. “I have a good shot at it,” the Kashmiri Pandit said. “We’ve got commitments for more than $1 million.”
Before moving to the U.S. in 1991, Kaul was a Lieutenant in the Indian Navy in India, from 1982 till 1989, per he is website. After retiring from the navy, he worked as an assistant manager with Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust in Navi Mumbai. He holds a Bachelor in Technology in Electrical Engineering from Regional Engineering College, Warangal in Andhra Pradesh.
In an interview with The San Diego Union-Tribune, Kaul said Newsom should be recalled as he is “unpatriotic because he shut down California last year on Independence Day.” Stating that there is “no climate emergency, and this is a hoax,” Kaul said “alternative energies are available and encourage them all. Wildfire has to be sorted out.”
His business website is plastered with pictures of him with the Obamas, Clintons and other A-listers. It describes him as “an awardee from the Governor of California, Assembly and Senate of California, City and County of Los Angeles, many Congressmen and Congresswomen in USA and from many other state and Federal elected members.” Along with the U.S. Global Business Forum, the website lists several other groups that it claims are founded or led by Kaul. Additionally, Kaul also serves as the founder chairman of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Lee Baca’s Indo-American Advisory Council.
Meanwhile, there isn’t much information available on Singh. His website notes that the Sikh American is running for governor of California to “bring back quality of life, respect for everyone, integrity and balance decisions.” It notes that Singh has lived in California since 1992 and has worked in the field of Software Engineering. He was born in Punjab, and completed his Bachelors in Mechanical Engineering from IIT Delhi. He did his Masters in Computer Science and Operations Research from North Carolina State University, Raleigh.
“While most California voters are opposed to the recall,” LA Times, citing a poll by UC Berkeley Institute of Governmental Studies, it co-sponsored, reported that “those most likely to cast ballots in the September election are nearly evenly divided on the question.” The poll revealed that “among likely voters, 47% support ousting Newsom, while 50% oppose removing him from office.”
This is the state’s second gubernatorial recall election in history. The Mercury News reported that in 2003, “when California booted Gov. Gray Davis, only around 9 million of the state’s 15 million voters participated, and just 4.2 million picked his replacement,Republican Arnold Schwarzenegger.
While Newsom has a massive fundraising lead, news reports speculate whether his fate will be determined by the recent spike in COVID cases and new mask mandates in some parts of the state.