By JOSHUA WOLFSON
Stuart Vance wants you to run for governor.
In fact, the Sonora-area man is hoping your sister, her friend and maybe a few thousand other Californians will run as well. Never mind that he is trying to get his own name on October's recall ballot.
Partly as an effort to bog down what he sees as an illegitimate recall effort and partly as a public protest, Vance is spearheading a drive to encourage as many people as possible to get their names on the ballot.
If enough people run for governor, his theory goes, election officials will be unable to handle the load and the recall would be delayed.
"If we could get 5,000 people across the state to just say, 'I want to go down and run for governor,' that by itself sends a message," he said. "People would interpret it in different ways, but it will still be an interesting message."
For Vance, a horse breeder, the message is clear: The effort to recall Gov. Gray Davis is the wrong way for California to deal with its problems.
"I'm from the South," he said. "What they say down there is 'If you don't like the rascal, vote him out in the next election.'"
On Monday, Vance, 39, took out his own candidacy papers with the Tuolumne County Elections Office. The registered Democrat plans on paying the $3,500 filing fee and obtaining the 65 necessary signatures from members of his own party to have his name placed on the recall ballot.
"This is a protest I feel pretty strongly about," he said.
To help get his message out, Vance and a small group of friends created a Web site: www.run-for-governor.org. The idea for the site came Thursday during a conversation between Vance and a friend.
"We started thinking, 'I wonder if the voting system in the state could handle a ballot with 500 candidates,'" he said.
Vance, who worked in the technology industry in Silicon Valley before moving to the foothills with his wife and daughter four years ago, likened the effort to a "denial of service" attack, whereby someone bombards a Web site with so many requests that it shuts down.