BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — Governor Gavin Newsom’s visit to Kern County on Tuesday was a reminder that he will face voters once again this year.

It was just four months ago Newsom soundly defeated a recall effort, but the results weren’t so positive for the governor in Kern, something he didn’t shy away from during his stop in Kern.

“Someone mentioned this is a red county, I could care less if it’s a red county,” he said.

Speaking in Lamont, Newsom pointed out the legacy of Kern as red bastion in a sea of blue. Perhaps alluding to the beating at the ballot box he took from voters in county limits just four months ago.

“I don’t care if you voted for me or voted against me. You matter, I care, ” he said.

Newsom insisted there were no hard feelings, but with the governor on the ballot again 2022 and thus far, no one there to challenge him, many in Kern don’t feel same way. 

“I don’t like that at all,” Kern resident Mary Jones said. “I’m just gonna hope someone does come up against him.”

And nothing shows the divide quite like September’s recall results. Statewide, it was a resounding victory for the governor, with 61% of Californians voting to keep him. In Kern, it was exactly the inverse, with 61% in the Golden Empire hoping to give Newsom the boot.

“The numbers show you, it’s not viable for a Republican to challenge Gavin Newsom,” Democratic political analyst Neel Sannappa said, “it just isn’t.”

But Republican political analyst Cathy Abernathy thinks there’s one issue that could give GOP candidates a chance in this deep-blue state.

“Cost of living,” she said, “When people finally wake up to why does it cost so much here.”

And she says September’s statewide result isn’t a death sentence to potential red candidates in 2022.

“That was a short two-month situation for this, there’s a longer time frame to try to get elected,” Abernathy said.

And for Kern resident James Curtis, his residency in the state may depend on it.

“If it stays blue, I have got to get out of here,” he said.