By MADISON HIRNEISEN
THE CENTER SQUARE
(The Center Square) – Gov. Gavin Newsom will square off in a debate against his challenger for governor, state Sen. Brian Dahle – a contender for the state’s top seat that polling numbers indicate remains unknown to most voters.
The debate, hosted by KQED on Sunday, October 23, will be the first time Gov. Newsom and Sen. Dahle, a Republican state senator from Bieber, sit down to field questions from moderators. As of now, it is the only confirmed meeting of the two candidates for governor, as noted by KQED.
Polling released this week from the UC Berkeley Institute of Governmental Studies indicates that Gov. Newsom holds a sizable lead over Sen. Dahle, with 53% of likely voters supporting Gov. Newsom and 32% supporting Sen. Dahle. The poll also suggests that Sen. Dahle’s campaign faces a unique challenge – 52% of likely voters are unfamiliar with Sen. Dahle and cannot offer an opinion “when asked their overall impressions of him.”
Throughout his campaign, Sen. Dahle has regularly criticized Gov. Newsom for the state’s high gas prices and homelessness rates. If he is elected, Sen. Dahle’s plan says he wants to declare homelessness a “public health crisis,” address crime by appointing a parole board that will “not allow for the early release of violent and repeat offenders,” and suspend the state’s gas tax to address the high cost of living.
Thus far, Gov. Newsom’s reelection campaign has taken an untraditional route as he maintains a comfortable lead for reelection. Many of his recent campaign efforts have been used to target Republican-led states who are rolling back abortion rights, showcased in his recent move to purchase billboards in red states promoting California’s new abortion services website.
The debate will begin at 1 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 23 on KQED Public Radio 88.5, with a recorded television broadcast of the debate to air at 6 p.m. on KQED 9. Coincidentally, the San Francisco 49ers host the Kansas City Chiefs at 1:25 p.m. that same afternoon.