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Newsom In A Favorable Position Heading Into Election

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Sonora, CA – Six months after winning a recall election that could have ousted him from office, Gov. Gavin Newsom is in an enviable position as he heads into a reelection campaign.

Yesterday was the deadline for candidates to enter the race and no well-known Republican emerged. That may be due to Newsom’s landslide victory in the recall election coupled with the fact that he has a war chest of about $25 million.

No top-tier competitor has emerged to stand in his way. All of the most-recognized Republicans from the recall, top challenger conservative radio talk show host Larry Elder and former San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer, have decided not to run again. The latter made that announcement on the Friday (March 11) deadline to enter the race. Faulconer finished with 8% of the vote in the recall, far behind Elder.

Instead, a field of little-known rivals will take on the incumbent in a June 7 primary election. The current leading GOP candidate is Brian Dahle, a Republican state senator from rural Northern California. A certified list of candidates is not due from state election officials until later this month.

There are still risks for Newsom in winning a second four-year term with inflation and gas prices soaring, a continuing homeless crisis and climbing crime rates.  Political pundits advise that the lack of competitive GOP candidates at the top of the ticket could hurt candidates down the ballot in a string of competitive U.S. House races and could play a role in the fight to control Congress.

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