The 2026 Election Season is Heating Up

That is not a typo.  Candidates for statewide office in 2026 are getting busy.  This week, State Superintendent for Public Instruction Tony Thurmond announced his campaign for Governor with a video that you can see here.  Thurmond has opened a committee to fundraise, but it does not yet show any activity.  Former State Controller and current California Democratic Party Vice-Chair Betty Yee declared her candidacy for Governor earlier this year.  She has not yet opened a campaign committee to fundraise, but she has been traveling around the state giving press interviews.  Current Lieutenant Governor Eleni Kounalakis is also running and has a campaign website. Kounalakis raised $2.4 million in the first six months of this year.  She also has over $5 million in other open campaign committees.  There are no other significant campaign committees for candidates running for Governor, but it is safe to say there will be.  Current Attorney General Rob Bonta is rumored to be interested in running for the top job.  Please contact us, if you know of any other candidates getting ready to declare.


Will They Take the Monorail?  

The California Republican Party’s Fall Convention takes off this weekend in Anaheim and we have so many questions.  Will Florida Governor Ron DeSantis wear Mickey Mouse ears and declare that he likes the west coast version of Disney World?  Will former President Donald Trump ride Space Mountain and think it’s the Space Force?  Will anyone recognize South Carolina Senator Tim Scott?  Will Vivek Ramaswamy be too annoying to be allowed entry?  The convention is not actually being held at Disneyland, but that would be way more fun. Maybe the CRP should consider meeting at fun venues; it might help them win elected office.  On a more serious note, the CRP is considering changes to the party’s platform.  According to Politico, there is “a proposal from the party’s platform drafting committee to strike opposition to abortion and same-sex marriage from the party’s guiding document.”  Wow.  Now that would be news. Those standing around the water cooler might be cynical, but we doubt the CRP will make such radical changes.  After all, the Republican National Committee has not changed its platform since 2016.


Nury Talks!

And we can’t wait to hear what she says.  Although, wasn’t that the problem?  Former L.A. City Council President Nury Martinez has sat down for her first interview since the world heard the scandalous tapes.  For those who may be new to Calpeek, you can read about the secret recordings, which took down some of the most powerful political players in Los Angeles and are still impacting others, here and here and here.  Martinez agreed to an interview with LAist’s Antonia Cereijido.  Cereijido’s podcast is called Imperfect Paradise:Nury and The Secret Tapes.  It will air on Sundays at 7:00 pm on 89.3 FM (in the Los Angeles area).  We can’t wait to hear what Nury says now.


Need Gas?  Gulp.

Wowzer!  If you still have one of those antiquated cars that requires gasoline you’re feeling the hurt at the pump.  The average gas price in California hit $6.03 on Thursday while the average price in the nation is $3.84.  Governor Newsom is calling for the California Energy Commission to look into whether prices are being manipulated by the industry (ya think?) as well as for us to switch over to a winter fuel blend (we didn’t know the difference either…if it’s cheaper can’t we just call it the “year round blend”?).  GOP lawmakers in Sacramento have also called for the Governor to convene a special session of the Legislature to temporarily suspend the state gas tax (which is $0.58 per gallon).  Whatever may happen, get ready for some pretty severe gas pains when you stop by to filler’ up.


Republican Debate Takeaways

In case you missed the second primary debate for Republican candidates for President held at the Reagan Presidential Library, or you couldn’t understand a word that was said because of all the yelling, have no fear because Noah Bierman of the Los Angeles Times shared his top 5 takeaways from the eagerly awaited event.  The debate, sans former President Trump, included Doug Burgum, Chris Christie, Nikki Haley, Ron DeSantis, Vivek Ramaswamy, Tim Scott and Mike Pence.  While Trump was scrutinized for being a no-show, those of us at CalPeek have to wonder if any of the attending candidates would have done the same if they had the more than 50% of Republican support that polls are showing for Trump???  Regardless, if you’re curious about what you may have missed, check out Noah’s story.


London Breed Leans Right

According to POLITICO California Playbook, San Francisco Mayor London Breed is leaning right these days – a move that mystifies a few in what has been known as the most progressive City in California (if not the nation).  On Tuesday, the Democratic mayor announced that she’s proposing that the city require all recipients of county-funded welfare to undergo drug screening and treatment, if necessary, to keep their eligibility.  If you need to read that again, we understand.  The mayor even stated “No more anything goes without accountability.  No more handouts without accountability.”  All of which builds on her recent tough-on-rhetoric in recent months.  There is plenty of speculation behind what may be driving this change in direction including her bid for reelection.  To learn more, checkout THE BUZZ.

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