Former San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer (R) announced Monday that he will challenge incumbent Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) should organizers collect the 1.5 million signatures by March 17 required to put a recall election on the ballot.
The former mayor could also run in 2022, when Newsom is up for re-election, if there is no recall or the recall fails.
Faulconer released a video on YouTube announcing his candidacy, titled “Promise”:
He also tweeted his intention to run, likening Gov. Newsom’s term as “Groundhog Day,” repeating the same liberal policies and mistakes from the past.
Tomorrow is Groundhog Day. But doesn’t it feel like every day is Groundhog Day in Gavin Newsom’s California?
This Groundhog Day, change is coming. pic.twitter.com/9bs5tnBXvY
— Kevin Faulconer (@Kevin_Faulconer) February 1, 2021
Faulconer, who served two terms as one of the country’s only Republican mayors in a major city before reaching term limits last year, has been hinting at a run for weeks, ever since he threw his support behind the ongoing recall effort.
The former mayor is seen as a centrist. As Breitbart News reported last month:
Faulconer often tacked to the left. In 2015, for example, he joined Democrats in threatening to boycott Indiana over that state’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which was a response to a spate of lawsuits by LGBTQ activists against Christian business owners. Then-Gov. Mike Pence (R) asked for changes to the law to clarify that it was not intended to discriminate against LGTBQ individuals.
Faulconer also opposed Donald Trump in 2016, and opposed President Trump’s attempt to build a wall on the border.
While those positions may irritate conservatives, Faulconer clearly hopes it is a winning formula in liberal California.
There is growing interest in recalling Newsom, despite his recent high approval ratings. One Democrat, billionaire mega-donor Chamath Palihapitiya, announced his own candidacy last week, touting unusually conservative policies such as a 0% state income tax and school vouchers.
Newsom’s opponents surpassed 1.2 million signatures as of last month.