San Diego Mayor Faulconer slams Gov. Newsom’s leadership, mulls 2022 run for governor

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San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer

San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer, a Republican, slammed Gov. Gavin Newsom over his handling of the COVID-19 pandemic in the state, which is facing a surge in positive cases.  Faulconer is reportedly considering running for governor to challenge Gov. Newsom in 2022.

While it’s an uphill climb for any Republican challenger given the high number of registered Democrats in California, Faulconer said Californians“need leadership — right now.” He told Politico on Thursday, “People are hungry… and rightfully so.”

Faulconer’s revelation of his next political move comes on the heels of Newsom’s series of mistakes and failures to curb the spread of COVID-19. Faulconer argued that the governor is leading California toward economic uncertainty. He noted that businesses are frustrated by his “continued shifting” of mandates in response to the pandemic. He said, “open and closing, open and closing every other month,”  adding that Californians “have had it.”

Newsom has ordered a limited stay at home order in 41 counties that account for nearly the whole state population. He imposed a curfew on non-essential work, movement, and gatherings starting Saturday in purple tier counties between 10 p.m. to 5 a.m.

Newsom faced a series of public criticism in recent weeks

This week, Newsom offered a public apology after photos circulated online showing him dining at a luxurious restaurant alongside multiple lobbyists and some of the state’s top medical officials to celebrate longtime adviser Jason Kinney’s 50th birthday — a violation of California’s protocols on mass gathering.

Faulconer took to Twitter to express his dismay on the incident, adding Newsom did not even address his sudden lockdown in a public address.

“After breaking his own COVID rules, it appears the Governor is already under curfew — he won’t even address the public or media about his sudden lockdown,” Faulconer said.

He added, “The fact is, much of CA is already shut down. I continue to urge personal responsibility: mask up and physically distance.”

Newsom’s office also came under fire recently after tweeting: “Going out to eat with members of your household this weekend? Don’t forget to keep your mask on in between bites.”

 Newsom also faced backlash for sending his own children back to in-person classes at a private school, despite the state’s public school students hunkered down at home for distance learning.

Faulconer did not take this sitting down. He said, “His kids can learn in person. But yours can’t. He can celebrate birthday parties. But you can’t.”

He added, “He can dine on a $350 meal at one California’s fanciest restaurants during the worst recession in generations. But you definitely can’t.”

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