SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL/KGET) — The race for governor of California will look a lot different from the recall as many notable Republicans have bowed out this year.
Former San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer officially announced he will not be running. He joins the long list of those who ran last year but decided against it this year.
“This is an enormous commitment to run for Governor, and if you’re not all the way there, it’s better that we have candidates to take on the big Democrat machine here,” said Jessica Millan Patterson, California GOP chairwoman.
The latest development left the Republican Party with one candidate in the upcoming race with some name recognition: State Sen. Brian Dahle. The Republican Party will endorse its candidate for governor at its convention later this year.
“Senator Dahle has been an amazing advocate in Sacramento not just for his constituents but for Californians all over this state. We have other candidates that come from business backgrounds or who have served our country, maybe. We have a lot of opportunities here,” Patterson said.
Another last-minute entry, Bay Area author, environmental activist and former Democrat Michael Shellenberger filed to run as a no party preference candidate.
“I’m running because I’m absolutely heartbroken by the humanitarian homeless disaster occurring on our streets,” Shellenberger said.
It will be an uphill battle for candidates like Shellenberger and Dahle as they go up against Gov. Gavin Newsom. The latest campaign finance data shows Newsom has $24.8 million in the bank.
The latest statewide data shows 46% of registered voters align with Newsom’s Democratic Party, while 24% are Republican and 22.9% are no party preference.
“We don’t know we’re at a turning point until you’ve passed it, and I truly believe California might be at that turning point. We think with great candidates, the right message and solutions to people’s problems, there’s going to be a lot of crossover voting. No one should think this is a walk in the park,” Patterson said.
While Friday is the filing deadline for candidates running for governor, the Secretary of State’s office confirmed the certified list of candidates will be published on March 31.
The primary election is June 7, which will narrow down the race to two candidates.