A conservative state legislator who is a former member of the anti-illegal immigration Minuteman Project is considering a run for California governor.
Assemblyman Tim Donnelly, R-Twin Peaks, shared his plans to open an exploratory committee for a 2014 run in an interview with PolitiChicks.tv, a web video posted to a conservative website.
Donnelly, whose conservative stances and sometimes combative tactics have made him a lightning rod for controversy in the state Legislature, said he decided to consider a run "because there's just, there's nobody out there fighting for us."
"I believe that we as Californians can do heck of a lot better than Jerry Brown or anyone who wants to step into his footsteps, I don't care whether its Kamala Harris or Tony Villaraigosa or Gavin Newsom," he said of the possible Democratic contenders in 2014. "They're all going to push for the same ideas and I think California can do a lot better.'
Donnelly, who was first elected to the Assembly in 2010, attempted to qualify a statewide referendum of a law that allows some undocumented immigrants to attend colleges at lower in-state rates, but failed to collect enough voter signatures to get the measure on the ballot.
He achieved perhaps his greatest notoriety early this year when he was detained at Ontario Airport for having a loaded handgun in his carry-on luggage. Donnelly, who said he had forgotten the gun was in his bag, pleaded no contest to two misdemeanor gun charges, paid a $2,215 fine and was placed on three years probation.
In the interview, Donnelly also offered a critique of the GOP's 2010 gubernatorial nominee, former EBay executive Meg Whitman.
"What I think people rejected with Meg Whitman was she had a 50-page plan and she wasn't listening," he said. "And I think one of the best ways I can build support is travel the state, go from town to town, talk to business leaders, talk to community leaders, talk to individuals at their doorstep, at a rally, what have you, but do a lot of listening and find out what are the greatest concerns. And a lot of time people have solutions that politicians never thought of that will actually work."