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Former San Diego Mayor Sees Rare Opportunity for California GOP in Newsom’s Failure

Then-San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer speaks at the Republican National Convention Winter Meeting in San Diego, Calif., in 2015. (Mike Blake/Reuters)

How do Republicans win a statewide election in California? Former San Diego mayor Kevin Faulconer thinks he has the answer.

It’s been 18 years since the GOP last won the state’s governorship — coincidentally the last time a California governor faced recall. And as the likelihood of Gavin Newsom’s recall grows by the day, frustrated Californians are increasingly wondering who might replace him.

In 2003, it was the name recognition of Arnold Schwarzenegger that got the moderate Republican over the line — Schwarzenegger beat out 135 candidates with 48.6 percent of the vote, despite skipping all but one debate.

Now, a fellow moderate Republican

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