BURLINGAME (KCBS) — While California Republicans came together over the weekend for their biannual convention in solidarity with intentions to unseat Gov. Jerry Brown, the GOP front-runners represent a wide gap within the party.
Of the four candidates who spoke at the event in Burlingame, the top choices are opposites; State Assemblyman Tim Donnelly is a conservative and Neel Kashkari, a former U.S. Treasury official and Goldman Sachs executive, is a moderate.
Donnelly told KCBS he needs the help of the moderate Democrats and said he can persuade them.
“You’ve got all kinds of Democrats that are actually deeply concerned about the impact of Obamacare. They are losing their jobs, their losing hours, their paying more for health care; they’re providing health care for their neighbors who don’t work,” he said.
Donnelly is supporter gun rights and opposes abortion.
Kashkari said the GOP does need to change its image and that it’s been branded as “old, rich, white guys.” He said his campaign is designed to build diversity within the party.
“Not only can we unite Republicans, I believe we can bring some ‘Decline to State’s’ back. Heck, I believe we can even bring some moderate Democrats with us,” Kashkari said.
He praised a prominent predecessor, President Reagan for having the ability to appeal to those lying on the political fence of indecision.
Donnelly said people want California to be the land of opportunity again and that people who don’t normally agree with him are backing his campaign.
“[California’s] become the land of oppression by regulation,” he said.
There are two other Republicans that are also running for the governor but aren’t getting the same traction: Andrew Blount, the Mayor of Laguna Hills, and Fresno County businessman Glenn Champ.