Carl DeMaio recording his political talk show on KOGO Radio. Courtesy KOGO

Former San Diego City Councilman Carl DeMaio urged the California Republican Party not to endorse a recall candidate, saying that doing so would “kill grassroots enthusiasm.”

In a statement issued by his Reform California group, DeMaio said the state GOP should “focus its efforts exclusively on winning a majority vote on the ‘yes’ on recall question” on the Sept. 14 ballot.

Under the unique California recall rules, if 50% of voters mark “yes” on the recall question, then whoever among the 46 candidates on the ballot receives the most votes will become governor. That means the next governor could be elected with far less than a majority vote.

“We have said from the beginning that the “yes” on recall effort benefits from having a large field of candidates each bringing their supporters to the polls to throw Gavin Newsom out of office,” said DeMaio, whose organization has supported recall efforts at multiple levels of government across the state.

Reform California said it will send a letter co-signed by candidates John Cox, Caitlyn Jenner and Doug Ose to more than 1,400 party delegates urging them not to make an endorsement.

“The insiders at the California Republican Party will kill grassroots enthusiasm for the recall if they go behind closed doors and try to anoint just one replacement candidate — especially if that candidate is completely uninspiring and comes from the far left like Kevin Faulconer,” said DeMaio, referring to the former San Diego Mayor.

A UC Berkeley poll released Tuesday showed wide division among likely voters, with Republican talk show host Larry Elder the frontrunner at 18% if Newsom is recalled.

Democrats outnumber Republicans by two-to-one in California, but the poll found greater enthusiasm among Republicans and suggested Newsom would be recalled if Democratic turnout is low.

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Chris Jennewein

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