Republican State Senator Brian Dahle, Distant Second, Faces Gavin Newsom in November

Brian Dahle (Rich Pedroncelli / Associated Press)
Rich Pedroncelli / Associated Press

State Sen. Brian Dahle (R-Bieber) finished a distant second in the California gubernatorial primary on Tuesday, but it was enough to qualify him to face incumbent Governor Gavin Newsom (D) in the November general election.

Will results still being counted Wednesday morning, Dahle had won 16.8% of the vote, far behind the 56.3% that Newsom had won. Under the state’s “jungle” or “top-two” system, both of the top finishers advance to the general election, regardless of party.

Dahle, who used to be the minority leader in the California State Assembly, faced criticism from conservatives in 2017 after appointing the so-called “Swamp 8” — a group of liberal and moderate Republicans — to leadership positions in the party:

Brian Dahle, the newly installed California State Assembly Republican Leader, did not take long to get on the wrong side of GOP grassroots activists in California after appointing several of the most notorious “Swamp 8” Republicans to leadership roles — including former leader Chad Mayes (R-Yucca Valley) and Rocky Chavez (R-Oceanside).

Outraged conservative grassroots activists and leaders pushed for the ouster of former GOP leader Mayes over a controversial vote to extend the cap-and-trade system — only to learn that the “new boss is the same as the old boss’” as Dahle installed Mayes himself as an “assistant Republican leader.”

Dahle is expected to put up a spirited fight, but he is expected to lose, after Newsom easily defeated a recall effort last year.

Newsom, celebrating his primary win on Tuesday, declared California to be the “antidote” to America’s problems.

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). He is the author of the recent e-book, Neither Free nor Fair: The 2020 U.S. Presidential Election. His recent book, RED NOVEMBER, tells the story of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary from a conservative perspective. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.


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