Donnelly’s Guerrilla Campaign Captivates Ardent GOP Members


GOP gubernatorial candidate Tim Donnelly is communicating with people by social media, talking to groups and campaigning via the grapevine — an effective strategy in a low-turnout election. (Credit: Los Angeles Times)

“I could talk about the 2nd Amendment, but you guys all know what I think of that,” the avid gun rights advocate said.

The hundreds of people gathered in a historic theater to hear him chuckled affectionately. They indeed knew his views: Donnelly has forged deep ties with the most ardent members of his party, honing them as a Minuteman leader, as one of the most conservative members of the Legislature and as he has barnstormed the state for 16 months in an RV bearing his campaign slogan: “Patriot not Politician.”

That has paid off so far. Despite the lack of a war chest, a string of controversies and vocal denouncements from leaders of his own party, he has led in the polls among those competing in the June 3 primary to challenge Gov. Jerry Brown, the overwhelming front-runner, in the fall.

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