SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) – It could be regarded as a considerable upset if state Sen. Brian Dahle (R-Bieber) were to successfully unseat incumbent Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) in the Nov. 8 election.

Newsom already beat Dahle 61.2% to 15.1% in June’s jungle primary, and he crushed a recall effort last year driven by his handling of the COVID-19 pandemic with about 62% of the vote.

With the gubernatorial race seen by some as almost a foregone conclusion to Newsom, he may have set his sights on even higher office.

As KRON4 has previously reported, there has been speculation that Newsom, 54, may not finish this term if he decides to run for president in 2024. The governor has made several moves this year to raise his national profile, such as buying ads in Republican-controlled states criticizing their policies on abortion and gun regulation.

Before becoming California’s governor, Newsom served as lieutenant governor and as a San Francisco mayor and city supervisor, representing the Marina neighborhood.

Dahle, 57, served in the Assembly from 2012-2018, when he was elected to the state Senate. He had been the Assembly’s minority leader. He started his political career when he was elected to the Lassen County Board of Supervisors.

Dahle said if he’s elected he will try to suspend the gas tax to lower gasoline prices, declare homelessness a public health crisis, and implement a comprehensive water plan to combat the water crisis.

The two will face off for a televised debate on Oct. 23. It will be broadcast live on radio and with a digital video live stream, then on television later that day.