Newsom and Dahl will only meet in a debate before Election Day
California’s GOP gubernatorial candidate will get his first — and only — chance to face Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom head-to-head Sunday when the two meet in a live radio debate, battling the NFL for voters’ attention.
Brian Dahle, a little-known Republican senator, will debate Newsom on KQED News at 1:00 PM Sunday. KQED News will broadcast the debate live on radio along with video streaming on its website and social media. The debate will then be broadcast on KQED Public Television at 6:00 p.m
Scott Schafer and Marisa Lagos, co-hosts of KQED’s Political Breakdown, will moderate. There won’t be a live audience, but KQED says they will get a few questions from voters beforehand. The news agency noted that the debate will have a “directed nature” without strict time limits and rules.
“We live in an age of echo chambers and censored political messages, which means civil discourse and public debate are more valuable than ever,” said Ethan Toven-Lindsey, KQED’s vice president of news. “We are proud to give these two candidates the opportunity to share their different visions for all Californians.”
The debate is likely to be the culmination of Dahl’s campaign. It has raised less than $1 million, not enough to run television ads in the nation’s most populous state, home to some of the country’s most expensive media markets.
Newsom also didn’t run ads this year because he didn’t have to. Republicans threw everything they had at Newsom during last year’s recall election, only to have 61% of voters say the governor should keep his job. With all of his Republican rivals defeated so thoroughly, no one has decided to challenge him again this year except Dahl.
With more than $23 million in his campaign account, Newsom spent money on advertising in other states. He paid for television ads in Florida and newspaper ads in Texas. And he paid for pro-abortion billboards in seven conservative states.
In recent public appearances, Newsom has said he is trying to push the Democratic Party to fight more aggressively against Republicans, who he says are winning the national political narrative.
Newsom’s words and actions have only fueled speculation that he plans to run for president, with some suggesting he could replace Joe Biden in 2024. But Newsom has repeatedly denied that, saying he supports Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris, who he said would also like to be president one day.
Dale said that he had prepared to take part in mock debates. He plans to criticize Newsom for the high cost of living in California, including record high gas prices.
“You can’t afford to live in California, and we have to make California more affordable,” Dahle said.
Newsom is likely to tout his plan to call a special session of the state legislature to pass a new tax on oil company profits. He is also likely to point to his signature state budget law, which would provide cash payments of up to $1,050 to most taxpayers to offset high fuel prices.