Northern California state Sen. Brian Dahle on Tuesday introduced his bid for California governor, the primary Republican legislator to problem Gov. Gavin Newsom’s 2022 bid for reelection.
Dahle faces a monumental process in a state the place Democratic voters outnumber Republicans by an nearly 2-to-1 margin and no GOP candidate has gained a statewide election in additional than 15 years. Newsom additionally has $25 million in marketing campaign funds stashed away and stays widespread amongst most Californians, having handily beat again a Republican-led marketing campaign to recall him from workplace in September, whereas Dahle has lower than $200,000 in his legislative accounts.
At a information convention in Redding saying his candidacy, Dahle expressed confidence that California voters are craving for political change. He blamed California’s ongoing struggles with crime, homelessness and a excessive value of residing on insurance policies embraced by Newsom and the Democratic management on the state Capitol.
“I’m not keen to go away this damaged California to my kids, your kids and our grandchildren,” Dahle mentioned. “I can’t stand apart and watch corrupt one-party rule proceed to poison the way forward for our state.”
Dahle referred to the governor as a “dictator” and derided him as a “wine salesman,” a reference to the wine retailer Newsom opened in San Francisco as a younger man and later expanded right into a enterprise that included wineries, eating places, bars and accommodations. He criticized Newsom for requiring schoolchildren to put on masks in lecture rooms as images surfaced exhibiting him momentarily maskless throughout an NFL playoff recreation between the Rams and the San Francisco 49ers.
Dahle’s background and politics provide a stark distinction to Newsom, the son of an appellate court docket choose who had connections to the best echelons of the Democratic institution in liberal San Francisco. There, Newsom rose to nationwide political prominence throughout his two phrases as mayor. He then served eight years as lieutenant governor earlier than being elected governor in 2018.
Dahle represents the northeastern nook of California, a far-reaching legislative district in probably the most conservative and rural areas of the state. A rancher and proprietor of the Huge Valley Seed Co., Dahle lives in Bieber, a tiny city 250 miles north of Sacramento with a inhabitants of about 260.
Dahle served on the Lassen County Board of Supervisors earlier than he was elected to the state Meeting in 2012, the place he went on to turn out to be the Republican chief. He was elected to the state Senate in 2019, beating fellow Republican Assemblyman Kevin Kiley of Rocklin. Through the marketing campaign, Dahle touted his assist for securing the U.S.-Mexico border and opposition to so-called sanctuary metropolis insurance policies that stop native legislation enforcement officers from working or cooperating with federal immigration brokers.
Dahle, whose district has been arduous hit by wildfires, has been a harsh critic of California’s forest administration insurance policies that he mentioned have created lethal tinderboxes throughout the state. He has additionally criticized the Newsom administration’s resolution to shut the California Correctional Heart in Susanville, a jail in his district that employs greater than 1,000 individuals and has been house to the state’s inmate firefighting coaching camps.
Dahle additionally was amongst a dozen state lawmakers who declined to reveal whether or not he had been vaccinated for COVID-19 in July, when The Occasions requested all legislators if that they had obtained the vaccine. He additionally has criticized pandemic-related restrictions imposed by the Newsom administration as authorities overreach.
Dan Newman, Newsom’s political marketing consultant, dismissed Dahle as a pro-Trump Republican who will “attempt to cease the progress the governor is making steering California via the pandemic.”
“The governor will keep targeted on options — main on COVID, colleges, healthcare, housing and local weather — all with historic funds surpluses. And identical to final yr, voters can have a transparent alternative,” Newman mentioned.
No outstanding Republican has formally challenged Newsom’s bid for a second time period as governor even because the June major election quick approaches.
Conservative discuss present host Larry Elder, who topped the sphere of candidates attempting to switch Newsom in September’s failed recall, introduced in January that he wouldn’t run.
Different prime Republicans who tried unsuccessfully to unseat Newsom within the recall, together with former San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer and 2018 gubernatorial candidate John Cox, additionally mentioned they’d contemplate difficult Newsom once more. Neither has launched an energetic marketing campaign, though Republican sources have mentioned that Faulconer has been querying GOP marketing campaign donors about their potential assist.
Through the recall, Newsom portrayed the marketing campaign to oust him as a “life and demise” battle in opposition to “Trumpism” and far-right anti-vaccination activists. Among the many greater than 8.4 million Californians who voted in September, 61.9% favored holding Newsom in workplace and 38.1% supported ousting him.