GOP Rivals Tim Donnelly, Neel Kashkari Trade Shots in Radio Debate

Tim Donnelly and Neel Kashkari, the leading Republicans vying for the chance to challenge Gov. Jerry Brown in the fall, clashed Thursday in a scrappy debate that highlighted the split between the tea party and establishment factions of the state GOP.

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GOP Assemblyman Tim Donnelly, left, and businessman Neel Kashkari, a fellow Republican, will compete in the June 3 primary for the chance to challenge California Gov. Jerry Brown in his bid to win reelection. (Credit: Associated Press)

The Anaheim debate, aired live during the evening rush hour on KFI-AM (640) radio, was the pair’s first and perhaps only faceoff before the June 3 primary and reflected national fissures in the Republican Party.

Kashkari, a former banker and U.S. Treasury official, was constantly on the attack, portraying Donnelly, a state assemblyman from San Bernardino County, as incapable of expanding the party’s appeal in a strongly Democratic state.

Kashkari said Republican luminaries such as Mitt Romney and Pete Wilson were rallying around him not just because they like him, but also “because they really worry about the Republican Party.

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