Updated 10:28 a.m.
Most of the attention this election season is on issues other than California’s governor race.
But Gavin Newsom is vying for a second term. And there is a Republican challenger: state Senator Brian Dahle of Redding.
Dahle insists that voters are open to his GOP candidacy.
“Californians are realizing that what they've been told is happening by, like Gavin Newsom, is not the reality they’re living,” Dahle said last week during a Sacramento Press Club interview with CapRadio’s Vicki Gonzalez.
He says he’s running against Newsom because a lot has changed since last year’s recall election. You can hear his full interview with CapRadio by clicking the “play” button, above. The following are excerpts from his interview.
On why last year’s recall of Governor Gavin Newsom failed and what Dahle thinks has changed in the last 12 months and counting.
Well, obviously, when you have a recall, you have all these names on the ballot and, you know, it's confusing. And it's not a normal cycle where you're everybody's running for office. And so you have just basically that one seat that is in question.
This race, obviously, is a whole lot different, because there's a lot of races going on. People are focused on voting and it's the top two. So, there's two choices. Actually, there's only one. And I believe that's me, but there's two choices. …
Since the recall, we've seen gas prices expand greatly in California, as inflation, [and] crime is running rampant. Californians are realizing that what they've been told is happening by, like Gavin Newsom, is not the reality they’re living. Our schools are failing. We have power shortages. We have no water. We have crime running rampant. We have homelessness. And they're talking about how they're fixing all these problems by putting money on it. But Californians don't feel safe. And crime is up. And so I think you're going to see a lot of people go, “Wait a minute. I know that I may be from a certain party that's telling me that it's this way, but I'm living something different.”
And I'm hearing that on the campaign trail. There's a lot of people who have never voted Republican before, I will tell you, a lot of moms. I'm very surprised by the amount of mothers who are saying, “You know, I don't like what's happening in my education system. I didn't like that we were locked down.” … So they're coming over and they're saying, I'm going to support you for the first time ever.
On being a Republican governor in California.
I think you'll be pleasantly surprised. … First of all, No. 1, I will have every single legislator into my office and I will visit with them about their district. And I want to know what their priorities are. And that, I guarantee, has not happened with this governor. There are Democrats who are like, “Brian, I'll have more time in the horseshoe when you're a governor than I have had now.” So I want to work with legislators.
I'm not a guy that likes extremes. I don't like extreme right. I don't like extreme left. There's a whole bunch of us that are in the middle, that just want a good school for our children, want to be safe on the streets, want to live the California Dream. I want to make the California Dream a reality. I will do everything. I have a great reputation of working with legislators across the aisle. I will continue to do that, and I think you're going to be surprised.
We're going to find a lot of common ground and we're going to make some good decisions for California. And California can be a place where people want to stay and thrive and the next generations will talk about how great California is.
Editor's note: Sen. Brian Dahle said the Oroville spillway crisis happened in 2018. The correct year was Feb. 2017.
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