San Diego’s Kevin Faulconer is running a serious campaign for governor, without a bear.

Ben Christopher, CalMatters, on the Times of San Diego:

A Republican former mayor of San Diego, he governed that once Republican but now reliably blue coastal city as a pro-immigrant, climate-change-believing, bilingual urbanist. He touts endorsements from the traditional quarters of state GOP leadership.

And he really wants you to take the recall election seriously.

So far, Faulconer has tried to make waves in a way that almost seems quaint in 2021: by releasing policy proposals.

The logic of recall works for Faulconer. Faulconer is a moderate Republican in blue California, which handicaps him in a normal election. A normal election starts with a primary, where a Republican has to appeal to the MAGA base, and then pivot to the center. But the recall skips the primaries.

However, Faulconer’s candidacy depends on voters wanting to get rid of Newsom, who has proven popular. But right now Newsom is writing high on re-opening popularity, and his popularity may take a big hit when we get into a wildfire and blackout season.

Lots of “howevers” and “buts” in the previous two paragraphs. That’s just the nature of the recall.