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Recall Race Heats Up In Sacramento: How Much Will An Election Cost Taxpayers?

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) - The recall campaign is heating up and no stunt is off-limits. That includes one candidate bringing a 1,000-pound bear on the campaign trail.

He launched a bus tour featuring Tag the Kodiak bear,  but Republican gubernatorial candidate John Cox says his campaign is no circus.

"When you're in a hole, you stop digging a deeper hole," he said.

Caitlyn Jenner enters the recall race releasing her first campaign ad, titled "Caitlyn for California."

CBS13's political expert Gary Dietrich says come the fall, you will see an election likely with dozens of names on the ballot.

So how much will the recall election cost California taxpayers?

$400,000,000 is one estimate. California's finance department won't have an official cost estimate until this summer.

Those who run the election expect extra COVID-related precautions. Experts say that could drive up the cost of a special election.

"I think one of the big question marks is going to be are all voters going to be sent a mail-in ballot or will it be upon request? If they all have to be sent, you can imagine tens of millions of voters that will drive up the cost considerably," said Dietrich.

In Sacramento, the Association for California Firefighters is supporting Governor Newsom's efforts to stay in office.

The governor says those dollars could be better used elsewhere.

"It seems to me a lot of money to waste on a recall and a sideshow. I think there's a higher, better use of those resources," he said.

But the founder of this recall campaign, Orrin Heatlie, defends the price of the effort, saying change is expensive.

"Look at what he has done to our state already, look at the damage," said Heatlie.

The estimated cost of this election is based on fiscal surveys of counties across the state.

Political experts warn that unofficial numbers end up being used to justify positions on the recall, and aren't always neutral.

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