Former San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer, a Republican, made an election stopover at the Black Bear Diner in Santa Clarita on Saturday morning as part of his two-week bus tour through California ahead of the governors’ recall election September 14.
He shared his thoughts on affordability, homelessness, education, water, wildfires and safety in a 10-minute speech to a packed house of about 70 people.
“We are on the verge of making our state… more affordable, more livable and a state that everyone can be a part of,” said Faulconer, who was in Bakersfield earlier in the morning.
He said he saw and felt the excitement of replacing Governor Gavin Newson, a Democrat.
“You have two great leaders here who need help and support, who need a governor who is going to stand up and do the right things,” Faulconer said of Republicans in Santa Clarita, Senator Scott Wilk , the Republican leader of the Senate and the deputy Suzette. Valladares.
Wilk and Valladares both endorsed Faulconer as governor and featured him at Saturday morning’s event.
Wilk said he and his Assembly colleague had a front row seat in the final two weeks of the legislative session, when the Democrat-controlled legislature would pass “everyday legislation that hurts families, businesses, children.”
“I don’t want to burn the house down. I want to fix the house. I think Kevin Faulconer can fix the house, ”Wilk said. “He served two terms (as) mayor of San Diego – (the) eighth largest city in America – and ran it well with a Democratic majority council.
“When he can work with a Democratic majority, he will, and when he has to stand up to them, he will,” Wilk said.
Valladares called the September 14 elections a “people’s call back” as she held the hand of her 4-year-old daughter.
“I care about California and I care about her and the future we need to create now for her and the next generation of our families,” she said.
She said the state’s K-12 education system and an affordability crisis are the result of poor leadership from Newsom and Legislative Democrats.
“Californians have had enough,” she said, noting that everyone knows someone who left California. “And that is the purpose of this recall.”
When Faulconer asked the audience for a show of hands on knowing who left the state, almost every hand in the room was raised.
He said California has become too expensive because Newsom “doesn’t seem to think it’s a problem.”
“What I have proposed in our campaign is the biggest middle-class tax cut in California history,” Faulconer said.
Regarding infrastructure, he said he paved half of the streets of San Diego in his eight years without having to raise taxes to pay them.
Faulconer also said he did not allow homeless encampments on sidewalks, which drew applause from the public.
“It’s a question of priorities,” he said, discussing his record. “We care enough about people that we don’t let them die on our sidewalks, our underpasses (and) highway overpasses, our public spaces, our canyons.”
On public safety, Faulconer rejected police funding and said he invested in the San Diego Police Department budget.
“If we don’t have a secure state, we have nothing,” he said. “Leadership is standing up. ”
Faulconer was running for governor in the 2022 election before the recall petition qualified for the ballot earlier this summer.
Stevenson Ranch resident Michelle Durrani, her husband and three young children were in the audience on Saturday morning.
“We’re just looking to know the candidates,” she said, noting that federal issues had occupied her. “Certainly a lot of what happened during (the) COVID-19 (pandemic) is deciding factors.”
For residents of Santa Clarita, Hanan Haddad and her husband, gasoline and roaming taxes are high on their list of issues.
“We’ve been Republicans since we immigrated to California,” she said, noting that she arrived in the United States in the 1970s. “We would like to see a Republican state.
Kevin Metros traveled with his dog to Santa Clarita from downtown Los Angeles to hear Faulconer speak.
He said he called the gubernatorial candidate a “consensus builder” who can work with Democrats.
“I think we need a moderate centrist in power,” Metros said. “I have the impression that the state has been hijacked by the extreme left. ”
Santa Clarita Mayor Bill Miranda and Santa Clarita Valley Water Agency Board Director Bill Cooper were also in attendance for the event.