Tim Donnelly on governor’s race: ‘This whole thing is up for grabs’

Assemblyman Tim Donnelly (R-Twin Peaks), right, appears on Monday with Don Parks, founder of Applied Technologies Inc., to call for better access to state websites for disabled people.
(Melanie Mason / Los Angeles Times)

Assemblyman Tim Donnelly (R-Twin Peaks), a candidate for California governor, said Monday that he was “cautiously optimistic” in advance of Tuesday’s primary election, and discounted recent polling showing his GOP rival was gaining momentum.

Donnelly appeared at the Capitol on Monday to call for an audit examining accessibility issues for disabled people using state websites. But with election day fast approaching, talk quickly turned to the prospects for Donnelly’s gubernatorial bid.

A USC Dornsife/Los Angeles Times poll released last weekend showed him in a neck-and-neck race with Republican Neel Kashkari for second place in the primary election. Both candidates lagged far behind incumbent Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown.

Previous polls had found Donnelly with a significant lead among Republicans; the latest numbers suggest that Kashkari’s campaign has found momentum in recent weeks.


But Donnelly was dismissive of the recent poll. He noted that Kashkari, a former U.S. Treasury Department official who oversaw the 2008 bailout of the nation’s banks known as TARP, had a slight edge among tea party supporters, according to the survey.

“Some of the results are laughable. For the Wall Street bailout guy to be doing better with tea partiers than me is laughable,” said Donnelly, who has long aligned himself with the tea party movement. “And so it brings the entire thing into question. It makes the result suspect.”

“The bottom line is: The only poll that’s going to matter is tomorrow,” he added. “And we’re close enough that I’m not worried about any of the polls. And at people’s doorsteps, I’ve discovered that this whole thing is up for grabs.”