SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California’s Republican nominee for governor will get his first — and only — chance to face Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom on Sunday when the two meet in a debate scheduled to take place during the Contest will be broadcast live on radio with the NFL for voter attention.
Brian Dahle, a little-known Republican state senator, will debate Newsom on Sunday at 1:00 p.m. on KQED News. KQED News will broadcast the debate live on radio, along with streaming video on its website and social media channels. The debate will then be broadcast at 6pm on KQED Public Television
Scott Shafer and Marisa Lagos, co-hosts of KQED’s Political Breakdown, will moderate. There will be no live audience, but KQED says they will receive some questions from voters beforehand. The news outlet said the debate was “a focused conversation” with no strict deadlines or rules.
“We live in an era of echo chambers and siled political messages, which means civil society discourse and public debate are more valuable than ever,” said Ethan Toven-Lindsey, vice president of news at KQED. “We are proud to offer these two candidates a space to share their different visions for all Californians.”
The debate will likely be the highlight of Dahle’s campaign. He’s raised less than $1 million, which isn’t enough to run nationwide television commercials in the nation’s most populous state, which is home to some of the country’s most expensive media markets.
Newsom also didn’t run any ads this year because he didn’t have to. Republicans threw everything they had at Newsom in last year’s general election, only for 61% of voters to say the governor should keep his job. After all of his Republican rivals were so thoroughly defeated, no one but Dahle chose to challenge him again this year.
With more than $23 million in his campaign bankroll, Newsom has spent his money advertising in other states. He paid for a TV commercial in Florida and a newspaper ad in Texas. And he’s been paid to billboard pro-abortion rights in seven conservative states.
In his recent public appearances, Newsom said he’s trying to get the Democratic Party to take more aggressive action against Republicans – who he says are winning the national political narrative.
Newsom’s words and actions have only fueled speculation that he is planning a presidential bid, with some suggesting he could replace Joe Biden in 2024. However, Newsom has repeatedly denied this, saying he supports Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris, who he said would also like to see one day become president.
Dahle said he prepared by participating in a mock debate. He plans to slam Newsom for the high cost of living in California, including record high gas prices.
“You can’t afford to live in California, and we need to make California more affordable,” Dahle said.
Newsom is likely to promote his plan to call a special session of the state legislature to pass a new tax on oil company profits. He’s also likely to point to the state budget he signed, which includes cash payments of up to $1,050 to most taxpayers to offset high fuel prices.