Newsom’s opponent: I’m reasonable, not a ‘crazy Republican’

Newsom's opponent: I'm reasonable, not a 'crazy Republican'

Dahle is a Republican state senator who finished second in last month’s primary. SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Brian Dahle, the Republican Party’s longshot hope to unseat Gov. Gavin Newsom in California , knows that to win in his progressive home state he can’t allow Democrats to label him as an election denying, abortion-hating, gun-loving, bombastic right-winger. It’s why Dahle, an affable farmer and state senator from the sparsely populated northeast corner of the state, goes out of his way to make one thing clear: “I’m not a crazy Republican. I’m a reasonable person.” Whether voters believe he is what he says and not how Democrats portray him will determine how Dahle does against Newsom, a first-term Democrat who is an overwhelming favorite in November. Republicans haven’t won a statewide office in California since 2006 because their candidates generally are little-known, little-funded and identified — rightly or wrongly — as strong social conservatives in a state that’s socially liberal. The GOP has seen its share of registered voters shrink to the point where Democrats now have a roughly 2-to-1 advantage and there are nearly as many independents as Republicans. Under California’s primary system, all candidates compete against each other and the two with the most votes advance to the general election. Newsom won last month with 56%, while Dahle received just 17% in a field of more than two dozen candidates. With Dahle locked in as their opponent, Newsom’s campaign moved quickly to identify him as the antithesis to what most […]

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