Republican gubernatorial candidate Tim Donnelly doesn’t believe he’s out of step with most Californians on a variety of issues, even if polls say he is – or he just doesn’t care.
I talked with the conservative Assemblyman from Twin Peaks early Wednesday afternoon, and asked how he feels about polls that show most California voters have different views than his on issues such as Common Core education standards, climate change, abortion rights, gun control, immigration and more.
He replied by citing a Gallup poll from December that found 72 percent of Americans believe big government is a greater threat to the U.S. in the future than big business or big labor, a record high in the nearly 50-year history of this question.
An honest candidate can succeed “if you tap into that and be the person who is articulating what is in people’s hearts” said Donnelly, whose campaign website is peppered with references to tyranny, freedom and liberty.
Donnelly said his priorities in the final weeks before June 3’s primary will be “raising money and getting out the vote, and there’s nothing better for getting out the vote than being there in person.” That means long days of phone calls and wearing out a lot of tire rubber and shoe leather. Then, after the primary, he expects to offer more specific policy proposals.
“It’s not a pivot away from principle, but it’s a pivot from more populist ideas to serious policy,” he said. “We’ve always had serious policy ideas in mind but we’ve been communicating them in sound bytes.”
Once the field has been narrowed to two candidates, it becomes a contest of “who has the better vision, who has the nuts and bolts of how we can turn this state around,” Donnelly said. “It’s a different campaign, it’s a much more serious kind of campaign.”
“I love the idea that Jerry Brown and his minions are not going to take me seriously, that they’re going to be laughing and dancing and celebrating in the streets” once it’s a one-on-one contest, he said. But that’s “largely how Jerry Brown has ruled the state,” and Donnelly is ready to argue that in a David-versus-Goliath fashion. “The people are going to be on the side of the underdog, they always are.”
More, after the jump…
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