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Conservative San Diego Ex-Mayor Vows a 'California Comeback' if He is Chosen to Replace Newsom

As a recall election that could topple Democratic California Gov. Gavin Newsom moves closer to reality, former San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer says that a groundswell of anger is transforming California politics.

“You can’t underestimate the anger and frustration of California families right now,” Faulconer, who is running to replace Newsom, told the Washington Free Beacon in an interview published Saturday.

As of last week, a petition to recall Newsom had received 1.689 million signatures, far above the 1.5 million required. Recall organizers have said they will continue gathering signatures on petitions to hold a recall vote through the March 17 deadline to account for any invalid signatures that are collected.

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Faulconer, who pledges a “California Comeback” if he wins the governor’s office, is among the Republicans who have expressed interest in running. Republican John Cox, who was defeated by Newsom in 2018, is also expected to try to unseat the governor.

Faulconer said the success of the recall effort is a telling barometer of the mood of Californians who were irate when Newsom violated his own lockdown orders to dine in a swanky restaurant.

“In the midst of all the lockdowns, to see that happen? That really struck a nerve for Californians across the state,” Faulconer told the Free Beacon.

“It’s the classic ‘do as I say, not as I do’ hypocrisy. There was a lot of frustration already, but that sent it into the stratosphere.”

Newsom further alienated Californians with ever-changing rules that seemed based more on whims than science, according to Faulconer.

“The governor shut down outdoor dining with absolutely no science showing that outdoor dining was contributing to the spread and transmission of COVID-19,” he told the Free Beacon. “We had businesses that were open and shut four different times because of the conflicting measures. The goalposts kept changing.”

Faulconer told the Free Beacon that although California parents have made it clear they want schools open so that students can experience real learning, Newsom and the powers that be have fumbled instead of providing leadership.

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He made a similar point in a Fox News interview Thursday.

“Gov. Newsom rolled out a plan in December and said schools would open in February. Another broken promise, more rhetoric and no action,” Faulconer said, according to Fox. “There’s a massive gap that is occurring, and it’s threatening an entire generation of students … for no reason.”

Faulconer said that as a Republican who gathered Democratic support while mayor of San Diego, he knows how to build bipartisan collaboration to stop the exodus of people and businesses from the state.

“I can’t say enough how many folks and companies are looking to leave California. My job as governor would be to keep them here,” Faulconer told the Free Beacon. “We’re so proud of San Diego, we’re so proud of California’s innovation and spirit. But you don’t see that same spirit in our state government.”

And that’s thanks to Democratic rule since Gov. Jerry Brown succeeded Republican Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger in 2011, he said.

“Ten years of one-party rule in Sacramento has failed us,” Faulconer said. “It’s time to replace the status quo.”

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

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