Ex-San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer announces run for California GovernorFebruary 2, 2021
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Former San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer is running to be the next Governor of California. He will challenge current Governor Gavin Newsom who faces a growing recall threat over his handling of the coronavirus pandemic.
The news comes less than a month after Faulconer launched an exploratory committee that has raised more than $1 million. Faulconer is set to make a formal announcement on Tuesday.
San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer participates in the San Diego Pride Parade at Balboa Park on July 14, 2018 in San Diego, California.
“It’s time for a California comeback,” Faulconer told Fox News in an interview. “And I will bring the experience of a reformer who has run the second largest city in our state … and its time to restore balance and common sense to California.”
Faulconer, a moderate Republican city councilman, was elected mayor of San Diego in early 2014 in a special election brought about by the resignation of Democrat Bob Filner over sexual harassment allegations. He won re-election in 2016 with nearly 60% of the vote.
San Diego held the distinction of being the nation’s largest city with a Republican mayor, and Faulconer was the only Republican to lead a major city in California, where Democrats hold a firm grip on statewide offices.
Faulconer said the fact that he got elected and re-elected twice in a city with a majority of Democratic voter registration “speaks volumes” to his approach.
“The voter registration in San Diego mirrors that of California and I think that’s important. And I’ll be the only candidate with executive experience successfully managing a big city. That’s the type of leadership and experience we want,” Faulconer said. “People don’t really care about partisanship right now. What people care about is leadership and somebody who is going to fix things and get results.”
Faulconer’s bid comes as Newsom faces a growing recall threat over his handling of the virus. As of Monday, petitioners have gathered more than 1.3 million out of the 1.5 million signatures required for a ballot. The deadline is March 17.
If the recall effort succeeds, Californians will get to vote in November, but even if it falls short, Faulconer said he will still run against Newsom in the general election in 2022.
“I think there’s no doubt that people of all political persuasions are fed up with what they’re seeing out of the governor’s office and that that anger is real and that’s across the state. That’s not limited to any party. And so, I think that the folks want a change,” Faulconer said.
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