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This G.O.P. candidate’s hopes may rest with California Democrats.


What does that mean to you? Democrats have a huge advantage in terms of registration in California — how does the California Republican Party need to shift?

The registration in the city of San Diego mirrors that of California as a whole. How do you win in California? You win by focusing on issues and common sense. You have to build coalitions. That’s exactly what I did as mayor.

That’s what this campaign has been built on, which is if you’re a Republican, I want your vote. If you’re a Democrat, I want your vote. If you’re an independent, I want your vote. And I think nobody else who’s running has also had to work with a legislature or, in my case, a majority-Democrat City Council.

And so all of the housing reforms that you and I have just talked about, all of the homeless action that we took, all of the action on public safety, which I was very proud of, all of my budgets — every single one had to be approved by a majority-Democrat legislature.

How did you feel about extending pandemic aid to undocumented workers, many of whom were essential. And would you reverse any legislation that gives undocumented people access to health care or driver’s licenses?


My focus would have been obviously on Californians.

You don’t think undocumented residents of California are Californians?

I do, but like I said, legal citizens would have been my focus.

I think that our immigration policy is completely broken at the federal level. And I’ve supported comprehensive immigration reform very loudly for a very long time. As governor I would advocate for that, because we know that the effects of a broken immigration policy affect us so incredibly much here in California.

If you don’t become governor in the recall, you’re planning to run again next year.

I was absolutely planning to run in 2022 when I started. I wouldn’t be running if I didn’t think that California was ready for a change, that we should have a competition of ideas. We’ve had one-party rule in California now for over a decade. And I believe that that has led to just a state going in the wrong direction.

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