SAN DIEGO, California — With four weeks until the November election, California Republican candidates for offices ranging from governor to local community college trustee gathered for a forum in San Diego on Tuesday evening. The event covered a wide range of issues, including Republican enthusiasm, voter turnout and the state’s rising gas tax.
Radio host Ladonna Harvey moderated the forum, introducing the first panel of candidates, beginning with Republican gubernatorial candidate Neel Kashkari. Kashkari told the audience: “The issues are all on our side, we just need to get them out.”
Republican candidate for Lieutenant Governor Ron Nehring emphasized a need for greater economic development in California. Incumbent Democrat Gavin Newsom’s lack of action, he said, is a result of having the wrong mindset. “I’m running to do the job, Gavin is running to have the title,” he said.
State Assembly candidate Barbara Decker told the audience that she had decided to challenge incumbent Democrat Toni Atkins when she learned that nobody else had taken up the cause. The Democrat-heavy 78th Assembly District now has a choice as to who will represent them in Sacramento.
Decker brought up the impending gas tax increase, and hopes to eventually break Sacramento’s Democrat supermajority. She has taken out billboard ads reading, “How’s Sacramento treating your wallet?” and hopes to leave a lasting impression on voters no matter the outcome of her race.
Never missing an opportunity to bring up California Governor Jerry Brown’s “crazy train,” Kashkari played off Decker’s mention of the gas tax, describing Jerry Brown’s use of the tax to pay for the state’s unpopular high-speed rail project.
“We can absolutely win one month from today,” Kashkari proclaimed.
“We’ve got enthusiasm on our side.”
Polls however, have shown a largely uphill battle for the gubernatorial candidate. His rival, incumbent Gov. Jerry Brown, enjoys high approval ratings from from likely California voters.