Recall election: Republican candidates take aim at more than just Gov. Newsom

California Recall Election

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KRON) – Three Republican candidates hoping to replace Governor Gavin Newsom in the recall election debated Tuesday night in Sacramento.

This was the second recall debate among some of the top polling Republican candidates but once again Larry Elder, the front runner, declined to debate and so some of the focus turned to him.

“Larry Elder should be here to defend his positions but he’s not,” Kevin Faulconer said.

While Republican candidates have publicly remained cordial throughout the recall process, that changed in Tuesday night’s Sacramento Press Club Debate.

Former San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer called out candidate and conservative radio talk show host Larry Elder for saying women know less than men, are easier to manipulate, and that it’s ok to discriminate against pregnant women in the workplace.

“That’s bulls**t and we’ve gotta call it that out. Everyone on this stage and everybody running for Governor. That’s not who we are as Californians,” Faulconer said. 

The other two candidates, Assemblyman Kevin Kiley and businesses man John Cox didn’t follow Faulconer’s lead of scolding Elder but did say they wish he would debate.

The three did collectively criticize Governor Gavin Newsom for the state’s homelessness and wildfire prevention issues and pandemic-related policies.

With some ballots already in the hands of California voters, the Republicans working to make the case on why each should be chosen to replace Newsom.

But as Cox began his opening statement, a service processor shouted he was being served in a lawsuit out of San Diego County Superior Court and threw a packet of papers on the floor, which sat by Cox’s feet all night.

Neither he nor his campaign would immediately comment Tuesday.

Another lawsuit on the minds of all candidates, one in federal court now questioning the constitutionality of California’s recall process.

Candidates say they aren’t worried.

“I don’t think it has any legs to it,” Cox said.

“I have no doubt this is going to be tossed out but it serves to underline the desperation of the Newsom campaign and the disrespect they have for California voters,” Kiley said. 

This is not the only time we’ll see Cox, Kiley, and Faulconer on stage this week — The three are participating in our Inside California Politics Debate Thursday night.

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