Ron Nehring, the former chairman of the California Republican Party, said Tuesday that he was running for lieutenant governor.
"It's a key leadership position in state government and the lieutenant governor's office is what the holder chooses to make of it," Nehring said in an interview. Current Lt. Gov. "Gavin Newson treats it like a taxpayer-funded gubernatorial exploratory committee for 2018 …. The office should be used as a platform to develop the type of bold reform plans that the state needs."
The 43-year-old Nehring, who lives in unincorporated San Diego County, is the first GOP challenger to Newsom to officially declare his intentions. Nehring said if elected he would use the post to shape proposals to improve the state's tax code, regulations, schools and pension system.
"It should be used as an incubator for bold reform ideas and then the lieutenant governor should advocate for the adoption of these reforms," he said.
Nehring said that while he recognizes that Republicans running for statewide office face an uphill battle given the party's historically low voter registration, he believes Republicans must offer an alternative to one-party rule in Sacramento that has left the state with high taxes, high levels of poverty and failing schools.
Nehring has never held elected office previously. He served as chairman of the state Republican party for four years, and of the San Diego County GOP for six years. In 2005, Gov.