As of today, your intrepid blogger is aware of 4 major and one minor candidate for SD01. There is a tech millionaire from El Dorado County that has a website up. He has limited name ID in Placerville where he is from and it remains to be seen what his operation will be.
Major Candidate 1: Beth “Bethypoo” Gaines. Her campaign is predicated on her Husband Ted being able to raise money and endorsements for her. Ted is isolated as the lone member of the Board of Equalization. Since the BOE has no real power, his ability to leverage his office on Beth’s behalf (a la 2011) is decimated.
Beth Gaines has no other strengths as a candidate other than name ID.
The Gaines’ long-time political operative Ssssssteve Davey has become persona non grata within CAGOP circles and was finally terminated (2 years after ROD broke the story) for brutally graphic sexual misconduct. Add to this, the Gaines’ long-time political consultant Dave Gilliard has signed on with:
Major Candidate 2: Kevin Kiley
Kiley is a young, talented lawyer recently from the Bay Area. He started a Cattle trading shell company with Doug Ose specifically to be able to have the same ballot title as Brian Dahle. This is a standard drill candidates run in elections in order to jockey for position. (See also the Small Business Owner drill Beth Gaines ran some years back)
Kiley is also extremely intelligent and Ivy League Educated. It is clear that both Rex Hime and Brian Dahle will make sure voters know Kiley is an Ivy League Lawyer who started a Cattle Trading Company to appear as something different.
Of interest is how Kiley will play in the rural areas of this district. There are enough voters in the rural parts of the district that Kiley will simply not be able to win by suburb.
It is the understanding of this blogger that a lot of negatives in Kiley’s background and current life were not played in the AD06 race he won, it will be interesting to see what comes out when he has fully funded opponents.
Kiley has two major supporters that almost assure him of major Independent Expenditure money and donations. The liberal democrats of the California Charter Schools Association, fresh off of losing a second attempt to elect Marshall Tuck, bundled a lot of money for Kiley in 2016. They also dropped $500k in to late independent expenditures. Another left-leaning indian tribe is alleged to be in line with Kiley as well. Given that Kiley supported John Kasich for President, you can infer a pattern.
As I have written before, Kiley sat on $500k in his campaign account and did not contribute much of anything to his fellow Assemblymembers, while the CAGOP Assembly Caucus got decimated. This is my #1 issue with Kiley as I am sick and tired of the every man for himself mentality of a generation of term limit babies (see also the Gaines). It sure looks like Kiley did the same.
My #2 issue with Kiley is he was so good as an Assemblyman post Gaines/Gaines that it is annoying to see him try to leave after just 2 years in office. It makes me wonder if his engagement in the district was a self-serving drill to climb the ladder. It really sucks to have to write this, but what other conclusion can I draw given the circumstances.
Lastly, Dave Gilliard is a brilliant consultant (who Kiley has retained) and I am sure they have prepared a battle plan. Gilliard is about the best GOP Consultant left in California.
Major Candidate 3: Rex Hime
Hime intrigues me the most. A lot of insiders know him. Everyone I know that knows him likes him.
Hime has Pete Wislon, Lew Uhler and a ton of old guard in his corner. Does this translate in to enough money to compete with Kiley and Dahle? I don’t know.
What I do know is that Hime is easily more conservative than Kiley, and might be a touch to the right of Dahle. This is not a bad fit for SD01 at all. Hime is from Loomis (I guess he lives too far north to be in Granite Bay) and has a lot of friends in South Placer County.
Hime’s top two weakness are the lack of deep pocketed donors (PAC Donors typically contribute $1k-$2k a piece) and name ID. If he can demonstrate fundraising prowess, I’d expect other groups to come on board.
Hime’s consultant is Matt Rexroad. Rexroad, similar to a lot of GOP consultants has not preformed well in recent years. He is a solid character guy and is also capable. It will be interesting to see what he does on Hime’s behalf as Hime has a tough hill to climb against two incumbent assembly members.
Major Candidate #4: Brian Dahle
I have a personal connection to Dahle, as I helped him beat “the Establishment” in 2012 to get elected to AD01.
Dahle is a real rancher from Lassen County for his whole life. Dahle emerged as the Assembly GOP Minority Leader post Chad Mayes debacle. He recently stepped down in order to focus on this SD01 run.
While Kevin Kiley created a “cattle company” in an attempt to mitigate Dahle’s #1 strength in the SD01 Race, a wary electorate will be able to recognize the difference. The flip side is the two Cattle Barons will have to sell themselves to a suburban electorate in SD01 that is about 40% of the vote at the same time as trying to play to the rural part of the district. I think Dahle will have an easier time doing so as he has grey hair and some wrinkles versus the fresh-faced attorney turned Cattle Baron.
In Addition, Dahle has been a 95% Conservative in the State Legislature, his voting record is solid across the board. Kiley’s Conservative record is borne out of his time as a prosecutor (think lawyer), yet it is known to this blogger that Kiley supports Gun Control and Gay Marriage. Dahle is a Solid Social Conservative, and like Hime would fit SD01 well.
Given his position and developed list of connections, I expect Dahle to be fully funded on his Senate Campaign.
Dahle’s primary weakness is outside of the north of SD01, he is not well known. He has been remiss to be involved in local politics as Team LaMalfa etc. have been the preeminent force up there and Dahle beat them in 2012 to win his original election. He does however have 98% of his Assembly District encased in SD01, which is a huge head start.
It is my understanding that Dahle has not formally announced as some of his staff have been evacuated from their homes due to the Camp Fire. The Camp Fire has spread in to Dahle’s current Assembly District (N/E Butte County) as well. I’d expect Dahle’s announcement after Thanksgiving when the Fire is contained.