Tim Donnelly, the conservative state legislator defeated by Republican Neel Kashkari in the gubernatorial primary election, declined on Saturday to endorse his former rival.
“I am endorsing liberty,” Donnelly told reporters outside a meeting of tea party activists on the second day of the California Republican Party’s fall convention. “That’s all I’ve ever endorsed.”
Donnelly, an assemblyman from Twin Peaks, said Kashkari never asked him for his support and that, “Here’s one thing I discovered about endorsements: You have to ask for them.”
Donnelly sought to move past questions about an endorsement, telling reporters at the convention that he “didn’t come here for any political reasons.”
His elbows have not entirely softened, however. He suggested Kashkari, a former Goldman Sachs executive who oversaw the federal bank bailout known as the Troubled Asset Relief Program while working at the U.S. Treasury Department, is no threat to Gov. Jerry Brown.
“Unfortunately, I think putting up moderates, especially moderates that have certain baggage related to big government programs, they’re just going to paint him as a Goldman Sachs banker,” Donnelly said. “I wish him all the best, and that’s it.”
Donnelly said he was at the convention to “see some old friends” and to appear at a rally where he will speak against the $7.5 billion water bond on the November ballot.
Kashkari was continuing to move throughout the convention Saturday, speaking to small groups of activists and criticizing Brown.
Here he is addressing young Republicans: