California State Assemblyman Tim Donnelly, who is one of two major Republican candidates for governor in 2014, seized on comments last week by his well-funded rival, former U.S. Treasury official Neel Kashkari, in which the latter told students in Sacramento: “If you’re a single issue voter, and you just want someone to give you a full capacity assault rifle magazine, God bless you, you can go vote for somebody else….I’m not your guy.”
Though Kashkari also said he owns four guns himself, his vocal support for restrictions on “assault rifles” is fodder for Donnelly’s campaign. Donnelly’s strongest issue is Second Amendment rights, and his campaign is drawing on growing frustration with new California gun control laws. Though Kashkari’s position is likely to be palatable to California voters in general, it is vulnerable in a Republican primary, even in liberal California.
Donnelly’s campaign did not appear to have responded directly to Kashkari’s comments, though his official Twitter feed re-tweeted the responses and criticisms of others.
— Jennifer Kerns (@CAPartyGirl) February 22, 2014
In a recent campaign ad featuring Maria Conchita Alonso–which provoked a backlash against the actress–Donnelly poked fun at his own position on guns, allowing Alonso to interrupt his pitch with an extended protest, in Spanish, against hunting.