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Rural farmer to face off with Newsom in November

Republican state Sen. Brian Dahle of Bieber finished second in California's jungle primary for governor.

Tim Hearden, Western Farm Press

June 9, 2022

2 Min Read
Grain grower and California state Sen. Brian Dahle, center, speaks during a panel discussion on wildfires' impact on timberland at the 2022 Sierra Cascade Logging Conference in Anderson, Calif.Tim Hearden

Grain grower and California state Sen. Brian Dahle has won the right to continue his uphill bid to unseat Gov. Gavin Newsom in November, overwhelmingly claiming the second spot in the state's jungle primary for governor with 17% of the vote.

Newsom, a first-term Democrat seeking re-election, had 56% of the June 7 vote with all precincts reporting and late mail-in ballots still trickling in, according to Secretary of State Shirley Weber. No other challenger was in double digits.

Dahle, a 56-year-old Republican, has said he believes voters are ready for a fresh approach after 25 years of nearly exclusive Democratic Party rule in the state.

Related: GOP's Sen. Dahle upbeat about bid for governor

"Californians are reeling from bad policies that are making it impossible to afford to live here," he said June 7, according to The Associated Press. "People who work by the hour, or live on a fixed income are being crushed. California energy policies make everything cost more. We deserve a safe California where the laws are enforced and violent criminals are not let out early. Not building any water infrastructure for decades, forcing us to ration and skyrocketing food costs is a travesty. The choice will be clear, and I believe Californians will unite for a better future.”

Newsom, a Democrat who was first elected and survived a recall with 62% of the vote each time, tweeted that California is "the antidote" to Republicans nationally who "are attacking our fundamental rights as Americans."

'We're going to win'

Dahle said in February his goal was to get 200,000 people to donate $1 a day to give him the funding he'll need for a statewide campaign. He believes he can ride what is expected to be a Republican wave in congressional and state elections in November. He was later endorsed by the California Republican Party.

"We're going to win -- I can see it and feel it and I know," he told an audience at the Sierra Cascade Logging Conference in Anderson, Calif.

Dahle’s grandfather was a veteran who drew a homestead in Tulelake in 1930 and planted wheat and potatoes. He bought the family’s current farm in 1942, and the family raises cereal grains organically.

Related: For Dahles, politics run in the family

A former Lassen County supervisor, Brian Dahle was first elected to the state Assembly in 2012. He was in his fourth term when then-state Sen. Ted Gaines, a fellow Republican, resigned in 2019, after his election to the California Board of Equalization. Dahle won the Senate seat in a special election, and his wife, Megan Dahle, won his old Assembly seat.

Newsom is a former San Francisco mayor and lieutenant governor.

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