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Meet the Candidates: Republicans

Background on the Republican candidates running to replace Gov. Gavin Newsom

DAVID ALEXANDER BRAMANTE

  • Party: Republican
  • Occupation: Realtor/Multifamily Developer
  • Age: 39
  • City of Residence: Los Angeles, CA
  • Key Issues: Freedom of choice, freedom of speech, taxes
  • Campaign Website: DavidAlexanderBramante.com
  • Campaign Statement: "I am probably like you or someone you know. I have lived my whole life in or around Los Angeles. I was brought up by a single mom who raised my brother and me on food stamps while she attended law school at Southwestern Law School. I learned from a young age the meaning of hard work and that I wanted to change my circumstances for my future children. I attended the University of California Los Angeles for several years before leaving to pursue real estate investing full-time, and later became a top broker at firms like Marcus & Millichap and Douglas Elliman in Los Angeles. I am a small business owner of a real estate voice marketing company, My Home Agent, and my real estate team, The Bramante Group."

JOHN COX*
  • Party: Republican
  • Occupation: Businessman, accountant, father
  • Age: 66
  • City of Residence: Rancho Santa Fe
  • Key Issues: Homelessness, affordable housing, taxes
  • Campaign Website: JohnCox.com
  • Campaign Statement: "John Cox is the nicest, smartest beast you’ll ever meet in California. He’s a successful businessman and entrepreneur who knows how to fix big problems. He’s running for Governor to save California. Our state is spiraling downward because it’s been failed by career politicians and insiders who look out for their own interests, and not those of the average Californian."

*Frontrunner


LARRY ELDER*

  • Party: Republican
  • Occupation: Broadcaster, author
  • Age: 69
  • City of Residence: Los Angeles, CA
  • Key Issues: Homelessness, housing development, minimum wage
  • Campaign Website: ElectElder.com
  • Campaign Statement: "What’s happening to our California? To my WWII Marine dad, an 8th grade dropout, California was truly the Golden State. He arrived after the War and worked two full time janitorial jobs. California’s then healthy economy enabled him to buy a home and, with my stay-at-home mom, raise three boys. That home is now worth $600,000, a nightmare for any young family struggling with today’s cost of living, and striving to follow my dad’s upward path. Stopping California’s war on the middle class demands reducing the regulations driving up housing costs and sending jobs to other states. Los Angeles public schools empowered me to an Ivy League university and then law school. Today, very few of the students attending my former inner city high school are proficient at math. As Governor, I will expand charter schools and crusade for school choice, igniting competition to deliver excellence in K–12 education. It can be done! How can California have record budgets and tax hikes . . . and yet pervasive homelessness? I pledge to overhaul our budgetary process, repeal the latest gas tax hike, and work with faith and nonprofit organizations to lift up our homeless brothers and sisters. I also will support true criminal justice reform, while opposing no-bail for repeat offenders and wholeheartedly backing police and prosecutors in the fight to end California’s crime wave. I’m not an elitist power hungry politician. I’m humbled to ask for your vote. Iam an optimist. Let’s make California golden again!'

*Frontrunner


KEVIN FAULCONER*

  • Party: Republican
  • Occupation: Businessman, educator, former San Diego mayor
  • Age: 54
  • City of Residence: San Diego, CA
  • Key Issues: Wildfire funding, veterans' issues, restaurant industry recovery
  • Campaign Website: KevinFaulconer.com
  • Campaign Statement: "I believe California is home to the smartest, most innovative, hardest-working people in the world. Unfortunately our state government has failed us. Year after year, Sacramento politicians make California more expensive and less safe. They make it harder to earn a good living, buy a home, start a business, and retire. We need new ideas. Real solutions. Trusted experience. As San Diego mayor, I reformed government and focused on the basics: successfully reducing homelessness, balancing budgets, increasing police funding, fixing streets—without raising taxes. As governor, I will: Clean up unsafe homeless tent encampments with the compassionate but firm approach proven to work in San Diego. Make California more affordable, starting with the largest middle class tax cut in California history. Keep Californianssafe by stopping the early release of violent criminals and enforcing our laws. Prioritize wildfire prevention, tackle our failing electrical grid, and expand water storage—keeping communities safe, power on, and water flowing. Fully reopen schools and reform education to be student-focused and accountable to parents. Support giving parents the power to choose the best school for their child. Reform the DMV and broken unemployment office, making them customer-focused and convenient. Stop wasteful “bullet trains to nowhere,” improving roads and highways instead. Take on special interests corrupting our government. You deserve to live, work, and retire with dignity in a state that is safe, clean, and affordable. With fresh ideas and new experienced leadership, we can solve California’s problems."

*Frontrunner


RHONDA FURIN

  • Party: Republican
  • Occupation: Educator
  • Age: 56
  • City of Residence: Anaheim, CA
  • Key Issues: Education
  • Campaign Website: RhondaFurin.com
  • Campaign Statement: "It certainly seems to me that we are still a Nation At Risk. Education should be at the top of Our Nation’s Agenda and I will Make it Mine, leaving No One Behind. Please Join me in Making Education Great, WINNING for the Kids, and Attaining that California Dream."

TED GAINES

  • Party: Republican
  • Occupation: California State Board of Equalization, former state assemblyman, former state senator
  • Age: 63
  • City of Residence: Shingle Springs, CA
  • Key Issues: Taxes
  • Campaign Website: TedGaines.com
  • Campaign Statement: "My family came to California in 1853 and flourished in the rough-and-tumble Gold Rush economy. I’m forever thankful for this state and I’m committed to a future as bright as our past. But we are so far removed from the freewheeling environment that attracted the dreamers of ’49. California simply could not have a Gold Rush today. Government would choke it off immediately, regulate and tax it out of existence. As Governor, I will restore the freedom and promise that made California an unrivaled destination for builders and creators from around the world, and I will push affordability so middle-class families are not priced out of our state. I was a straight-A rated legislator by the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association and will fully defend Proposition 13 and crush attempted tax increases. I will slash regulations and cap fees that push housing prices out of reach for young families. I’ll repeal the gas tax and use the state’s overflowing general fund to rebuild our once-great road system without $5 per gallon gas. Criminals will be held accountable, and I won’t take guns away from law-abiding citizens while putting 70,000 felons back on our streets. I’ll fight for new water storage such as Sites Reservoir so families aren’t rationed, and farmers can have every drop they need. I will support reliable, affordable, and abundant energy so we don’t suffer blackouts and create energy poverty. Pro-life, pro-family. “Where there is no vision, the people perish.” Proverbs 29:18."

SAM L. GALLUCCI

  • Party: Republican
  • Occupation: Software developer, pastor
  • Age: 62
  • City of Residence: Oxnard, CA
  • Key Issues: Homelessness, small business, education
  • Campaign Website: SamGallucci.com
  • Campaign Statement: "I’m running for Governor because the California we knew has been taken from us. It’s
    no longer the Golden State. Many Californians feel we no longer have a voice. We have no confidence our vote matters and believe we are losing our California values. We must bring California back to its people. We must provide moral leadership, truth,
    and transparency. We must protect our children, our families, our small businesses, our jobs, and we must solve the homeless crisis. As a business executive I have real-world experience creating jobs and as a Pastor I have the proven compassion experience addressing the homeless crisis in my county for over 14 years. I have a
    comprehensive plan to address this humanitarian crisis. Today, the wealthy, the poor, the homeless, and migrants call me their pastor. We need a true Californian not another career politician. As your Governor, I will work every day to give our government back to its people. I’m asking for your vote to restore the California Dream!"

DAVID HILLBERG

  • Party: Republican
  • Occupation: Aircraft mechanic, actor
  • Age: 61
  • City of Residence: Fountain Valley, CA
  • Campaign Website: N/A
  • Campaign Statement: "I will enforce the Law and uphold and support Constitutions of the State of California
    and those of the United States of America. I will demand the same for those you elect into office, Sanctuary and Open Border Policies that violate law or other items of our past that violate our Constitution. Must be corrected. Those who walk the halls of power had been in need of addressing for a very long time. They went off the rails long ago. And we have paid too much for too long. We all have had enough of it."

CAITLYN JENNER*

  • Party: Republican
  • Occupation: Businessperson, entrepreneur
  • Age: 71
  • Key Issues: Reducing regulation, COVID-19 Recovery, homelessness/affordable housing
  • Campaign Website: CaitlynJenner.com
  • Campaign Statement: "California has been my home for nearly 50 years. I came here because I knew that
    anyone, regardless of their background or station in life, could turn their dreams into reality. For the past decade, we have seen the glimmer of the Golden State reduced by one-party rule that places politics over progress and special interests over people. Sacramento needs an honest leader with a clear vision. I have been a compassionate and thoughtful disrupter throughout my life, from representing the United States and winning a gold medal at the Olympics to helping advance the movement for equality. As governor, I will fight for families, protect our children, and ensure businesses can thrive again. We have seen the cost of living skyrocket, leading to homelessness and
    soaring gas prices. This isn’t the California we know. We can do better and I am the only candidate who can take on these challenges. I’ll veto any new tax increase, any effort to defund the police, and I’ll veto any effort to strip our veterans and first responders of the benefits or dignity they’ve earned."

*Frontrunner


KEVIN KILEY*

  • Party: Republican
  • Occupation: State assemblyman
  • Age: 36
  • City of Residence: Rocklin, CA
  • Campaign Website: KileyforCalifornia.com
  • Campaign Statement: "California used to be the state where anyone could get ahead. It’s now the state many can’t wait to leave behind. For the sake of the state we love, I’m asking voters to take a chance on change. Five years ago, I ran for the Legislature as an outsider. I had taught high school in inner-city Los Angeles, prosecuted cases against violent felons, and defended the Constitution in our courts. Since taking office, I’ve fought to root out corruption at the State Capitol. I’m the only lawmaker who refuses all special interest funding. I’ve declined the annual $40,000 allowance and turned down a pay raise. I’ve acted to end perks like a private DMV office for legislators. I’ve authored groundbreaking legislation on freedom of speech, public safety, school choice, criminal justice reform, and artificial intelligence. Yet I’ve also seen that our state government is fundamentally broken. Our Capitol is rife with corruption. Our political leaders serve special interests rather than the public interest. It’s why we pay the highest gas taxes while driving over the deepest potholes. It’s why we spend billions more on homelessness as the problem gets worse. In California, we sacrifice the most and get the least in return. The people of California deserve better. If elected, I will immediately call a Special Session of the Legislature to address our failing schools, soaring cost of living, rising crime rates, and jarring homelessness. It’s time to get back to basics and restore integrity to state government."

*Frontrunner


CHAUNCEY "SLIM" KILLENS

Party: Republican

Occupation: Retired correctional officer, associate pastor

Age: 63

City of Residence: Hemet, CA

Campaign Website: N/A

Campaign Statement: "Vote For Me The People’s Governor"


JENNY RAE LE ROUX
  • Party: Republican
  • Occupation: Business owner, author, strategic advisor
  • Age: 40
  • City of Residence: Redding, CA
  • Campaign Website: JennyRaeCa.com
  • Campaign Statement: "Jenny Rae Le Roux is running to free California so that Californians can live, work, and breathe again. Career politicians have failed us. People used to dream of coming to California to pursue freedom and prosperity. Now, Californians are fleeing the nightmare: high costs of living and higher taxes, while crime and unemployment skyrocket. Our schools are mismanaged, with overreaching curriculum. Fires rage, water is scarce; we can’t even keep the power on. Our leaders are ineffective, out of touch, and living consequence-free—but happy to spend your money and tell you how to live. Jenny Rae is different. She takes responsibility and gets results. She’s a leader who shapes culture. She’s a businesswoman who runs organizations where outcomes matter. She grew startups into global businesses by shrinking costs and driving change. And she did it all while raising a family. For Jenny Rae, public service is laying down the right to serve her interests so she can serve every Californian. As the state’s executive, she’ll do what she’s always done: follow the data to common sense solutions. As an outsider, she is beholden only to the people of California. As a working Californian, she won’t ask you to do anything she’s not willing to do. And as a mom, she believes that California’s kids deserve better: they deserve a free and prosperous future in California. She’ll hold politicians accountable and be a voice for the voiceless, fighting for the freedom to live, work, and breathe again."

STEVE CHAVEZ LODGE

  • Party: Republican
  • Occupation: Safety and security consultant, former homicide detective/police commissioner
  • Age: 63
  • City of Residence: Trabuco Canyon, CA
  • Key Issues: Homelessness, correctional health care and rehabilitation, reducing California's cost of living
  • Campaign Website: LodgeforGovernor.com
  • Campaign Statement: "California needs a Governor who can solve the most pressing issues facing families up and down the Golden State."

DAVID LOZANO

  • Party: Republican
  • Occupation: Attorney, former deputy sheriff
  • City of Residence: San Gabriel, CA
  • Key Issues: Homelessness, police reform, affordable housing
  • Campaign Website: LozanoforCalifornia.com
  • Campaign Statment: "David Lozano is the only candidate with a real solution to homelessness. Go to Lozanoforcalifornia.com to read about his solutions to California’s problems, such as Police Reform, Affordable Housing, Reducing Taxes and more. David is a native Californian, an attorney with over 28 years experience, a past Los Angeles Sheriff and has worked in over 10 countries around the world, such as Egypt, Turkey, Australia, Mexico, Maldives and Greece. David holds a Degree in Political Science and a Doctorate in Law. David is currently an executive officer and a top negotiator. Make your vote count to end homelessness by voting for David Lozano as Governor."

DIEGO MARTINEZ

  • Party: Republican
  • Occupation: Bail bondsman, former auto dealership owner
  • Age: 45
  • City of Residence: San Andreas, CA
  • Key Issues: Public safety, infrastructure
  • Campaign Website: DiegoMartinezforGovernor.com
  • Campaign Statement: "When I was 14 years old, the family moved to the small agricultural town of Sonora in Tuolumne County. There, I began to work as a busboy, a line cook and eventually at age 16, became the head cook of another nearby restaurant. For the next 3 years, I would move from restaurant cooking to working in a lumber yard where he learned to operate heavy equipment. While working during the day, I continued my high school education at night and graduated from continuation high school in 1994. On weekend nights, I would work at a Spanish radio station in Merced and, eventually, started his first business, a small DJ company. The family didn’t have much, but at least I was able to help keep a roof over their head and food on the table. Always trying to improve my lot in life, I changed careers in 2001 and started working in the automotive industry, where I was promoted to General Manager of a dealership. My success as a GM and the skills I learned prepared me to walk into other failing agencies during the 2007-2008 economic recession and turn those agencies around. Not only did I succeed with turning these agencies around, 2008 also memorialized the most important milestone in my life. With unwavering determination, hard work and clear focus I became a US Citizen."

DANIEL MERCURI

  • Party: Republican
  • Occupation: Business owner, Navy veteran
  • Age: 43
  • City of Residence: Simi Valley, CA
  • Key Issues: Taxes, gun laws, child sex trafficking
  • Campaign Website: DanielforCalGovernor.com
  • Campaign Statement: "As a father, Jesus is my foundation. As a veteran, I still honor my oath. As a business owner, I believe we are a community not a profit margin. As a patriot, I will fight to starve the government feed the people."

ROBERT C. NEWMAN III

  • Party: Republican
  • Occupation: Farmer, psychologist
  • Age: 77
  • City of Residence: Redlands, CA
  • Key Issues: Pro-life, Immigration, Water
  • Campaign Website: Newman4Governor.com
  • Campaign Statement: "Not political but a public servant qualified with an AA, BA (zoology/chemistry), MA (theoretical/research), Ph.D. (clinical research psychology, scientific publications), married 60 years with 2 children and 2 grandchildren. Moved from Michigan to San Diego (1944) where my father served in the Navy. Pro-God, pro-life, traditional marriage, U.S. Constitution, Second Amendment Rights, legal immigration, agriculture, small business, truckers; School Choice. A patriot honoring veterans. California is high in poverty, unemployment, violent crimes, and taxes while schools are among the worst. A crippling regulatory environment is killing businesses. Limit government emphasizing individual responsibility. The Declaration of Independence, US Constitution inspired by our Founding Father’s faith in God are magnificent. Protect state sovereignty, Open California, increase take home pay, save pensions, return schools to local control, allocate farmers more water, cut taxes, reduce regulations, restore Constitutional rights—including gun rights and shrink government. Realistic homeless solutions."

DOUG OSE

  • Party: Republican
  • Occupation: Former U.S. Congressman, businessman, farmer
  • Age: 66
  • City of Residence: Sacramento, CA
  • Key Issues: Education, business recovery, COVID-19
  • Campaign Website: OseforCalifornia.com
  • Campaign Statement: "Living in California is frustrating. Our leaders are out of touch with everyday life. They don’t seem to care about results. Public education is failing our kids. Public safety is compromised. Crime rates are soaring, and defunding the police doesn’t work. AB 5 killed independent contractor opportunities. Unreasonable COVID-19 restrictions killed more jobs and businesses. Inflexible policies destroyed a year of academic advancement for students. Homelessness is out of control. Housing and food are too expensive. State gas taxes are excessive. Electricity rates are rising. Water remains scarce. High speed rail is a disastrous boondoggle. Government is delusional to say they reduced fire risk as California burns each year. Millions of Californians were impacted by the disaster at the Employment Development Department and not a thing is being done to fix it. These wounds are self-inflicted. It doesn’t have to be this way. We can rebuild the California Dream. It starts with public K–12 school choice. Remove caps on public charter school enrollment—funding must follow the child. Fund law enforcement. Hold criminals accountable. Provide mandatory treatment and counseling resources for drug addicts and mentally ill persons roaming the streets. Build housing we can afford. Lower gas taxes. Build water storage. Reduce fire fuels in forests. Fix the Employment Development Department and get checks out to those who are eligible. Everything I cherish is in California and I am fighting for it. Leadership and experience matter. It’s time for a change. I humbly ask for your vote."

SARAH STEPHENS

  • Party: Republican
  • Occupation: Pastor, community leader
  • Age: 39
  • City of Residence: San Diego, CA
  • Key Issues: Tax/regulation reform, education, Pro-life issues
  • Campaign Website: MakeCaliforniaGoldAgain.com
  • Campaign Statement: "Sarah declared to run as GOVERNOR of California in February 2021 because she believes she is the WOMAN FOR THE JOB to stand up and fight for the FREEDOM of Californians. As a pastor she has fought for years getting people off the street, helping people find jobs, getting people out of debt, helping marriages and families, serving the community in outreach events, and truly has fought for people when they could not fight for themselves. She believes not only that she can represent the people but that she will hold the integrity, morals, and unwavering faith it takes to bring drastic change. Running as a Republican, she believes that title means nothing and life means everything. Sarah believes she has the life experience, success, and moral character to take California and its people to where they need, want, and deserve to be."

DENVER STONER

  • Party: Republican
  • Occupation: Deputy Sheriff
  • City of Residence: Murphys, CA
  • Key Issues: Small business, gun rights
  • Campaign Website: DenverStoner
  • Campaign Statement: "Born in the heart of California’s central valley, Tulare, California, I lived there for the first 28 years of my life. We moved to Alpine County in 2002 where I began my career as a deputy sheriff and public safety officer. As a public safety officer, my primary role is law enforcement. Additionally, I serve as a fireman and EMT, which has enabled me to handle medical and fire emergencies. I have also been able to serve the state on numerous wildfires, including the Creek Fire and August Complex Fires last year and the Tamarack Fire this year. I have also overseen and assisted with numerous search and rescue efforts in Alpine and Calaveras counties. My wife and I have been married for 22 years. We have two children and one grandchild."

JOE M. SYMMOND

  • Party: Republican
  • Occupation: Community leader, church founder
  • Age: 71
  • City of Residence: Orange, CA
  • Key Issues: Critical Race Theory (CRT), law enforcement reform, education
  • Campaign Website: JoeSymmon4Gov.com
  • Campaign Statement: "I participated in the California Gubernatorial primaries in 2010 as a candidate for the Democrat party, BUT My Faith in God, Family Values and my Patriotic love for my Country and the American Dream were disastrously incompatible. I became a conservative Republican immediately after 2010. I've already declared my candidature in the California Gubernatorial primaries through the Republican Party when Recallgavin2020.com is consummated."

ANTHONY TRIMINO

  • Party: Republican
  • Occupation: Entrepreneur, CEO
  • Age: 45
  • City of Residence: Ladera Ranch, CA
  • Key Issues: Business recovery, freedom, faith
  • Campaign Website: AnthonyTrimino.com
  • Campaign Statement: "Anthony Trimino is the CEO of one of America’s fastest growing privately held
  • companies. He’s also the grandson of an immigrant who fled a communist Cuba to pursue the American Dream. A dream he believes that is slowly dying here in California. Anthony will restore the promise of freedom for our children, for our families and for our future. Electing Anthony will ensure we have a family first approach to policies built on his strong foundation of faith. He will protect our children, protect our businesses, protect our right to worship and will work to liberate California from the hands of an overreaching government—once and for all."

NICKOLAS WILDSTAR

  • Party: Republican
  • Occupation: Musician, entrepreneur
  • Age: 39
  • City of Residence: Fresno, CA
  • Key Issues: Economic revitalization, criminal justice reform, homelessness
  • Campaign Website: Wildstar2022.com
  • Campaign Statement: "I’m the only Governor candidate that’ll restore accountability, responsibility, and constitutionality to California. Our nation was founded on liberty, but now it’s considered a wild idea. That’s why I’m asking you to Go Wild and elect Wildstar for Governor Now!"

LEO S. ZACKY

  • Party: Republican
  • Occupation: Businessman, father
  • Age: 30
  • City of Residence: Los Angeles, CA
  • Key Issues: Education, law and order, business
  • Campaign Website: LeoZacky.com
  • Campaign Statement: "My campaign is about fixing what has been destroyed by the liberal progressives. I am an experienced business leader and an agricultural lobbyist who is very familiar with Sacramento politics. I have a plan to restore us to a better life. I loved growing up in Los Angeles, the place my family settled a century ago to pursue and live the American dream. The 90-year success of Zacky Farms was our American dream come true. Today, our California dreams have turned into an American nightmare! California has the fifth largest economy in the world and was the greatest state in America—a land of pristine beauty, free speech, great education and the engine that drove America. Now, homeless tents fill our streets, businesses are moving out, free speech is cancelled, and our educational system is in shambles. Californians are crying out for help and leadership to stop the decay and destruction happening before our eyes. This is why I feel compelled to run for Governor. I cannot stand by and watch California crumble under our feet! We must think to the future and what we can do to bring back the California we know and love. Let’s remember, we live in the greatest state of the greatest country in the world. I’m a freedom loving patriot! Let’s bring California back as a beacon of hope for the future of America. I’m Leo Zacky and I want to be your next Governor. I will end this nightmare!"

Author Profile Photo

Lisa Sturgis

Lisa Sturgis returned to KYMA as its Digital Content Director in September of 2019, but she and her family have a long history in the Desert Southwest. Her grandmother first moved to Yuma in the late 1940’s, and Lisa got her first job in TV news at KYMA in 1987.

Reach out to Lisa with story ideas and your digital feedback at lisa.sturgis@kecytv.com.

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