State Sen. Brian Dahle Wins GOP Gubernatorial Nomination

The California Republican Party endorsed Sen. Brian Dahle for governor on Sunday, a contentious battle between four candidates that took multiple ballots to reach the 60% threshold required for party approval.

Dahle, a family farmer from Lassen County who has spent more than a quarter century in elected office, told delegates he was most qualified because of his experience in government and as a father.

“I want your children and my children to have the same opportunities that we had. But that’s not going to happen if we don’t deliver a blow to freedom this year,’ he said at a candidates’ forum on Saturday, adding that incumbent Gov. Gavin Newsom and other Democrats are vulnerable in because of tax rates, poverty and crime. in California. “Delegates, we have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. The wind is at our back. Californians are looking for a better choice.

Although Dahle ultimately received the votes to win the endorsement, it was not without controversy. Some delegates muttered that establishment party leaders were trying to give him victory. And then on Friday, Dahle’s wife’s Assembly committee transferred $40,500 to the state party, leading GOP gubernatorial rival Jenny Rae Le Roux to say that the endorsement had been “bought”. She was calling on the party to return the money when her microphone was cut off during the candidates’ forum.

A state party official called the claim “nothing burger,” saying all members of the House Republican caucus should raise a similar amount for party coffers. But the timing of the transfer – two days before the approval vote – was viewed with skepticism by many participants.

Approval votes were held on the final day of the state’s GOP convention in Anaheim. Much of the energy at the rally focused on whether Republicans should take over Congress, a recognition of the party’s straits in statewide contests. Democrats had a nearly 23 percentage point advantage over Republicans in March, and the GOP hasn’t won a statewide election since 2006. Last year’s effort to recall Newsom, who sparked great excitement among Tories because enough voters signed petitions to qualify for the ballot, trailed by nearly 24 points.

To qualify to compete for State Party endorsement, applicants must receive the signatures of 200 delegates. Candidates can show their formal party support on direct mail and other campaign communications – useful in short-ballot races that receive little media coverage – and have access to party data, staff and offices. It also provides access to state party financial resources, but that money is much more likely to be spent on competitive congressional races.

Other nominees who won endorsements included attorney Mark Meuser for the U.S. Senate, education policy officer Lance Christensen for state superintendent of public instruction, former federal prosecutor Nathan Hochman for attorney general, GOP policy expert and academic Lanhee Chen for comptroller and former Lancaster City Councilwoman Angela Underwood Jacobs for lieutenant governor.

The party could not reach a consensus in the races for Treasurer or Secretary of State. In the latter contest, contestant Rachel Hamm told delegates on Saturday that despite what they may have heard, she was not a “satanic witch.”

“I’m a 45-year-old devout Christian, actually,” said Hamm, who has been endorsed by notable figures in former President Trump’s orbit, including former national security adviser Michael Flynn and the MyPillow CEO, Mike Lindell.

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