On Monday, former San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer formally confirmed that he will be running for Governor in 2022, or in event of a recall, 2021.
Faulconer, who was on the San Diego City Council from 2006 to 2014, and then Mayor of the city from 2014 until 2020, comes into the race as the biggest name yet to have a formal campaign, as well as the early favorite to get the GOP nod.
In a video released on YouTube, as well as his campaign site, Mayor Faulconer noted that the failed California dream, as well as severe missteps and special interest group pandering by Governor Gavin Newsom, influenced his decision to run in 2021/2022.
“What happened to the promise of California? California has become the land of broken promises,” said Faulconer in his campaign video on Monday. “Governor Newsom’s ruling class has failed us. They promised equality but gave us the worst income inequality in the nation. They promised modern infrastructure but can’t even keep the lights on. They promised prosperity but created high costs, higher taxes, and kill jobs. All to protect powerful special interests. They promised compassion but enabled addiction and despair. They promised to fix failing schools but put special interests in front of kids every time. Gavin Newsom promised vaccines but delivered confusion and chaos. He’s failed us.”
Specifically, Faluconer’s campaign targeted Governor Newsom’s botched vaccine rollout, his controversial school reopening plan, the EDD fraud case which may have cost the state as much as $31 billion as of Monday, as well as other economic and COVID-19 related issues such at the French Laundry affair in November.
Compared to other Gubernatorial cycles, such as the 2014 Brown/Whitman and the 2018 Newsom/Cox races, candidates such as Faulconer have been jumping into the race much earlier than usual, as have John Cox and Chamath Palihapitiya. But Faulconer’s formal announcement on Monday was formed quickly, with Faulconer only forming an exploratory committee less than a month ago.
The main catalyst for the early campaign announcements has been Governor Newsom facing a more and more likely recall election, with current signature totals now at over 1.3 million. A possible 2021 election has moved up many candidates timetables as a result.
“This year, most candidates for Governor don’t have the luxury of months going through statistics and polling to see if they could possibly win, political opinion analytics director Frank Barker explained to the Globe. “They need to jump in now in case Newsom does face a recall. Worst case, it’s a dress rehearsal for 2022. Best case, they have his job by autumn.”
“Faulconer is the first major candidate in, but he won’t be the last. Cox is likely in, and we’ll see all sorts of people come out. I guarantee you that a few celebrities will go in if there is a recall, because they always do. But a lot of well known Republican lawmakers will too. When there are enough signatures, they’ll be popping up like crazy like they did in the 2003 recall.”
More GOP candidates are expected to formally announce a 2021/2022 in the coming months.