Mayor Kevin Faulconer at a press conference in downtown San Diego. Photo by Chris Jennewein

California Republican Party leaders are reportedly making “furious efforts” to recruit San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer to run for governor in 2018.

The Los Angeles Times reported Thursday there are “furious efforts to recruit San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer into the race, because he is viewed as the strongest possible contender.”

The newspaper said efforts have included appeals by House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy and state party Chair Jim Brulte.

Faulconer is seen as a fiscal conservative and social moderate who has distanced himself from President Trump and can therefore appeal to California voters who overwhelmingly supported Hillary Clinton, according to the report.

Other possible Republican candidates are Orange County Assemblyman Travis Allen, Rancho Santa Fe venture capitalist John Cox and former state Assemblyman David Hadley.

On the Democratic side, Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and state Treasurer John Chaing are already campaigning.

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Chris Jennewein

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.