Political Notebook

May 20, 2014

Fresno GOP gives backing to Donnelly for governor, Swearengin for controller

Political Notebook

Breaking news, insight on the Valley's political movers and shakers

Republican gubernatorial candidate Neel Kashkari has the backing of former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, 2012 presidential nominee Mitt Romney, former California Gov. Pete Wilson and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush.

But he doesn't have the Fresno County Republican Party.

At a Monday night meeting, the party gave its gubernatorial endorsement to Kashkari's rival, Assembly Member Tim Donnelly of San Bernardino County.

Donnelly -- a tea party favorite who has earned the wrath of some mainstream Republicans for comments on race, including trying to link Kashkari, an Indian-American Hindu, to Islamic Shariah law -- also has earned the endorsements of the Merced County Republican Party and Madera County Republican Central Committee.

Not surprisingly, the Fresno GOP also endorsed Fresno Mayor Ashley Swearengin for state controller, Ron Nehring for lieutenant governor and Phil Wyman for state attorney general.

Wyman attended the meeting. The former state lawmaker and longtime resident of Tehachapi is one of seven people seeking the seat, a list that includes incumbent Democrat Kamala Harris and three other Republicans.

"They're all good, decent people," he said in an interview, referring to his fellow Republican attorney general hopefuls. "I just think I'm the one who can put it together."

See Neel Kashkari answer a Fresno State professor’s question about his 2008 vote for Obama

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Breaking news and insight from Bee reporters on the central San Joaquin Valley's lawmakers, movers and shakers. 'Round election time, this place really heats up.

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