As the June 3 primary draws nearer, Republican gubernatorial candidates Neel Kashkari and Tim Donnelly are relying on different measurements of success to build confidence among their supporters. Kashkari, who has a massive fundraising edge, is rolling out big endorsements, largely from past incumbents and national Republican figures, while Donnelly is relying on strong poll numbers and support from the party base.
On Monday, the Kashkari campaign announced endorsements from former Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney, former California Governor Pete Wilson, and House Oversight Chairman Darrell Issa. “Gov. Romney, Gov. Wilson and Chairman Issa are conservative leaders with long records of public service, and I’m grateful to have their support in my campaign,” Kashkari said in a campaign press release.
Donnelly, who has suffered disproportionately negative media coverage, points to favorable poll results, including more positive ratings among voters than Kashkari. In the most recent Field Poll, Donnelly led his GOP rival by double digits, though both were far behind incumbent Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown. Donnelly has recently said that his performance in the polls has helped him begin to close the fundraising gap with his rival.
Kashkari, a former Treasury official in the Bush administration, is running as a moderate, and focusing on the state’s finances and ailing education system. He clashed last week with liberal stalwart Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who attacks his role in the Wall Street bailouts in her new memoir. Donnelly, who serves in the California State Assembly, has the support of the Tea Party and has touted his record on Second Amendment rights.