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Former California Republican Party Chairman Files Papers To Run For Lieutenant Governor

Credit: KPBS

Ron Nehring, former head of the state Republican Party, on KPBS Evening Edition set, Feb. 13, 2013.

Former state Republican party chairman Ron Nehring of San Diego filed his papers to run for lieutenant governor Friday.

Nehring, who announced last month that he would enter the race against Democratic incumbent Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, said California has the nation's highest rate of poverty and the worst business climate.

"We're going to make sure that when it comes to the state's number two post, voters have a choice and the opportunity to restore some balance to Sacramento," Nehring said.

Special Feature Ron Nehring Reacts To Obama's 2013 State Of The Union Address

Ron Nehring, a Republican strategist and former Chairman of the California Republican Party, and Francine Busby, chair of the San Diego County Democratic Party, talk to KPBS about their responses to the State of the Union.

He filed his nominating papers at the San Diego County Registrar of Voters Office and similar offices throughout the state.

Nehring, the state GOP leader in 2007-11, will face business owner John Estrada in the primary. Rep. Jeff Denham, R-Turlock, also is considering joining the race, according to reports.

In January, Nehring was quoted by the Sacramento Bee as saying that a paucity of Republican candidates for statewide office left the party "two steps away from a nightmare scenario'' that would harm GOP candidates for legislative and congressional seats.

"In San Diego, we've seen how the power of ideas can transcend partisanship,'' Nehring said. "We have a Republican mayor in San Diego today because even in a city where Democrats hold a big advantage in registration, voters chose the candidate of reform over the candidate of organized labor the the Democrats.That's the right model for our party to be competitive again in California.''

Nehring also has been chairman of the Republican Party in San Diego County, and is a campaign consultant and commentator.

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