GOP recall candidate Kevin Faulconer challenges Newsom to debate him

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- The recall election is less than two months away and 41 candidates will appear on the ballot to replace Gov. Gavin Newsom. Republican candidate Kevin Faulconer wants to debate Newsom, but tells Eyewitness News he's not holding his breath.

"I'm absolutely challenging Gavin Newsom to stand up and try and defend his record," said Faulconer. "I'm happy to stand up and defend mine, and I think that's the debate that Californians expect. I think that's one that they deserve. We had two million Californians who signed this recall petition. This recall is happening, and I think they want that debate and they want to hear about this competition of ideas."

Loyola Law School professor Jessica Levinson believes Newsom is taking the recall effort seriously, but isn't too concerned about those running against him.

"We don't have a big marquee name in this list. And the date of this recall, I think that also helps the governor," said Levinson. "Biggest question for the governor will probably be how the COVID numbers are doing and how his base is feeling. Whether or not his base shows up or if they feel apathetic."

Newsom's biggest concern might be whether his base will show up, which is why he fought in court and lost to be listed as a Democrat on the ballot.

The governor was in Sonoma County Monday addressing the homelessness crisis and was asked whether all the money the state is spending could be a magnet for the unhoused to come to California.

"To the extent that people want to come here for new beginnings and all income levels, that's part of the California dream and we have a responsibility to accommodate and enliven and inspire and the California dream is still alive and well," said Newsom.

Faulconer jumped on this following our interview tweeting "This is crazy. I have incredible compassion for homeless Californians. But no, we should not be encouraging homeless people from other parts of the country to move to California."

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