Republican Assemblyman Tim Donnelly is picking up support in California’s Governor election and says it is starting to change the dynamic of the race.
The race for Governor of California has its primary on June 3rd. The two candidates with the highest percentage of votes will then face each other on the November ballot. No one doubts that Democrat and current Governor Jerry Brown will be the top vote getter. The race for second place is still on.
Last month the Sacramento Bee reported that Donnelly was polling at ten percent, but a Field Poll released last week found him up to 17 percent. Donnelly’s main challenger, Neel Kashkari, is still polling at two percent, unchanged since February.
Donnelly is hoping the polling will begin to be reflected in his fundraising. Last month his campaign reported he had just $11,000 cash on hand. By contrast, Kashkari was sitting on nearly a million dollars. That difference could be important in a big state where campaign ads are an important tool for getting the word out to voters.
Prior to his run for Governor, Donnelly’s main issues as a candidate have been gun control and immigration. In 2005, he founded a Minutemen group and spoke frequently about border control. That was several years before he ran for a seat in California’s Assembly.
Recently his focus has been the California budget and water problems in the Central Valley, both of which are part of a broader theme of over-arching government impinging on freedom. The Los Angeles Times reports that, in a recent appearance in Lodi, California, Donnelly told a crowd, “Government has become the greatest threat to our freedom.” He added, “If you control the water, you control our destiny and you control the people.”
Any Republican candidate has a long road ahead of him in a blue statewhich elected Brown over Meg Whitman by 13 points in 2010 and which gaveBarack Obama a 23 point edge over Mitt Romney in 2012. Governor Brown reportedly has raised $20 million in campaign funds and currently has a 57 percent approval rating in the Field Poll, 40 points above Donnelly.