Kevin Faulconer at debate
Kevin Faulconer at Wednesday nights debate in Sacramento. Screenshot from broadcast

Former San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer on Wednesday challenged apparent Republican gubernatorial front-runner Larry Elder to a one-on-one debate.

Faulconer made the challenge following a television debate with other candidates broadcast by KCRA in Sacramento.

“Tonight, I was proud to share my positive vision for a California comeback to reopen schools, cut taxes on the middle class, and clean up our streets. Unfortunately, one of my competitors, Larry Elder, did not have the courage to join this debate, just like Gavin Newsom,” said Faulconer.

“I would like to give him the opportunity to finally defend his indefensible views and actions in a one-on-one debate,” Faulconer added. “If he truly believes he is the best person to lead our state, he should have the courage to stop hiding and answer to voters.”

Elder has refused to debate other Republicans, saying the debates amount to a “circular firing squad.”

The conservative radio talk show host from Los Angeles is leading the Republican challengers to Gov. Gavin Newsom with around 20% in recent polls.

Even though that’s far less than a majority, under the unique rules of the Sept. 14 California recall election, if a majority vote to recall Newsom, then the challenger with the most votes becomes Governor.

There are 46 mostly Republican candidates on the recall ballot, but no well-known Democrats. So if Newsom is recalled, a Republican is almost certain to become Governor of California.

Chris Jennewein

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