RedState Endorses Assemblyman Kevin Kiley for California Governor

AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli

The race is on and RedState is officially endorsing Assemblyman Kevin Kiley (R-Rocklin) to replace Gavin Newsom as Governor of the great state of California.

Although the this recall election will only be the second of its nature in California history (a victory in and of itself), many people have expressed disappointment at the lack of depth coming from Republican contenders.

For the purposes of ousting Newsom, it didn’t really matter. The recall is a simple “yes” or “no” question. Who replaces Newsom is simply a matter of tallying votes amongst the competition and awarding the governorship to whomever comes away with the most votes in that group. It doesn’t sound inspiring but in California politics it’s what we have to work with.

Until now.

On July 6th, Kiley announced his candidacy to replace Gavin Newsom and while he may not have national name recognition at this point, he is most definitely the most qualified – and yes, inspiring – candidate in the field.

Kevin Kiley’s California roots run deep. He is a Sacramento native and has been representing the 6th district since 2016. Kiley, the son of a special education teacher and a former high school teacher himself (in the Los Angeles school district), has been a staunch advocate for California families during the COVID lockdowns. With his Yale law degree and extensive background as a former deputy Attorney General, the 36-year-old politician joined fellow legislator James Gallagher in 2020 to successfully sue Governor Gavin Newsom for violating separation of powers in his atrocious management during the pandemic. It is also extremely notable that while the legislature has consistently voted for raises for themselves – even as recently as last month- Kiley rejected the 2021 raise, stating that the legislature had done nothing to earn a raise while millions of Californians have suffered loss of income and school shutdowns.

Kiley’s bonafides don’t stop there. He has been one of the few state politicians who has actively lobbied against the disastrous AB5, also known as the “Gig Economy Bill”, which destroyed millions of independent contracting jobs across the state despite massive voter opposition, and which now has a national version sitting in the Senate, waiting to be approved (or stuffed into the infrastructure bill right under our noses). If the PRO Act passes it will deliver the same destruction of the “gig economy” to the entire nation. The bill was fashioned to punish Uber and Lyft, but when those tech giants spent their way into an exemption, the bill did not die and still stands today, continuing to deny Californians the right to work for themselves as freelancers unless they receive as special exemption from the Sacramento gods. Kiley has been a tireless warrior for the California working class, continuing to attempt to repeal AB5, and collecting the harrowing stories of Californians who have been devastated by this perplexing and unjust law. That fight has earned him respect from Democrat and Republican Californians alike.

Kiley is one of the few California politicians who has been consistent in his messaging from day one. Although he currently represents the 6th district, he has become known as “California’s Assemblyman” and has often been a loud voice for good governance. We at RedState feel confident that Assemblyman Kiley has the best interests of California at heart, and he is all-too familiar with the resistance he will face in Sacramento. This makes him a logical choice over other candidates who certainly have good intentions but not the experience in our capitol to face the unique challenges that will surely face a Republican governor.

But that is another check in the “endorsement” column. Kiley serves as a Republican, but his passion for representing the hard-working people of California has risen above party lines. While his criticism for Newsom is rightfully harsh, the Assemblyman has always been careful to view his colleagues in Sacramento as just that – colleagues and not party enemies. He chooses to attack ideas rather than party or people. This makes Kiley a very attractive candidate in a true blue state.

Kiley’s background is filled with reasons to support him for governor, including vital work in the arena of civil rights and criminal justice reform. Some highlights:

  • Every year has turned down the legislative per diem allowed to lawmakers, rejecting over $40,000 per year in annual income because of the move.
  • Prosecuted a case against Huawei Technologies for trade theft that became the impetus for a federal investigation against the Chinese tech giant.
  • Volunteered for pro bono work, notably winning a victory for a non-English-speaking California immigrant who was defrauded by a car dealership.
  • Has authored bills to protect freedom of speech, protect victims of sexual assault from their abusers, and provide for greater accountability and transparency in police use-of-force incidents.
  • Supports school choice.
  • Introduced bill to monitor the “safe and beneficial” development of artificial intelligence.
  • Introduced legislation to end special perks for legislators, such as a private DMV office that is exclusively for Sacramento staff and lawmakers

Kevin Kiley has proven he has the resume and the mettle to take on the office of Governor. His biggest challenge will be gaining name recognition, both locally and nationally. We here at RedState recognize that this gubernatorial race is unique, in that it has national implications. We believe that Assemblyman Kiley has the right experience, attitude and vigor to lead this state to better times for all Californians, regardless of party or ideology.

It is for all these reasons and more that RedState, as led by our stellar contingent of California-based writers, officially endorses Assemblyman Kevin Kiley for Governor of California.

The recall election will take place September 14. If you wish to support Mr.Kiley and his efforts or learn more about his background, head to his website Kiley For California. 

*Follow Kevin Kiley on Twitter @KevinKileyCA.