ANAHEIM - Perhaps it was so people could hear him over the wind or because his campaign for governor hasn't been getting much attention that Tim Donnelly, the assemblyman from Twin Peaks, took to a bullhorn at a news conference Saturday afternoon.
He sounded off on libertarian themes, warning Gov. Jerry Brown to "keep his hands off our guns" or "pay the price at the ballot box."
The Democratic governor has not yet said how he will act on several gun control measures sent to him this year by the Legislature. He is widely expected to win re-election in heavily Democratic California next year.
The expectations for Donnelly's gubernatorial campaign are considerably lower. But as the California Republican Party gathered here for its biannual convention, he set up a booth and posted signs calling himself a "Patriot Not Politician."
Donnelly, well known outside his district for his anti-immigration positions and for carrying a loaded handgun into an airport, addressed reporters outside the convention hotel shortly before Abel Maldonado, another Republican candidate for governor, spoke to delegates inside.
"I don't know why anybody's talking about him," Donnelly said. "I think Jerry Brown is the candidate to beat."
While talking with reporters about "socialism when it comes to our health care," Donnelly accidentally flipped the switch on the bullhorn, sounding its siren.
He turned it off and said, "I was just trying to underscore that point."
PHOTO: Assemblyman Tim Donnelly, R-Twin Peaks, speaks to reporters at the California Republican Party's fall convention in Anaheim on Oct. 5, 2013. The Sacramento Bee/David Siders