SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Former President Donald Trump Saturday endorsed Kevin Kiley for California’s 3rd Congressional District seat, telling voters the assemblyman has helped fight the “radical maniacs in Sacramento.”
Trump called Kiley, a Republican from Rocklin, “a conservative champion in the California State Capitol.”
“No one has fought Gavin Newsom harder than Kevin. He doesn’t wait for the fight, like the do-nothing RINOs who have watched California get absolutely destroyed by the radical maniacs in Sacramento,” Trump said.
Kiley was a leader last year’s attempted recall of Newsom. The endorsement by Trump, who won the district in 2020, comes as ballots were mailed out this week.
Scott Jones, the Republican Sacramento County sheriff, had been seen as a Trump favorite. His ad shows the him meeting with Trump at the White House to discuss immigration, and ends with a promise to “make America safe again.”
Jones is vying with Kiley and Democrats Kermit Jones and David Peterson in the June 7 primary. The top two vote-getters will compete in the November election.
The most closely watched race is between Kiley and Scott Jones, since Trump won the district in 2020 and independent analysts see it as a safe Republican seat.
Kiley, who has been endorsed by the state Republican Party, has been more circumspect about his ties to Trump.
When Trump first ran for president in 2016, Kiley did not support any presidential candidate during the primary season. He said that as a candidate for a state office he did not get involved in federal matters.
Kiley did vote for Trump in the general election in both 2016 and 2020.
In August, 2021, the Los Angeles Times editorial board asked Kiley who was the legitimate winner of the 2020 presidential election. Trump maintains the election was riddled with fraud, a claim that has been repeatedly disproven.
”I don’t delve into electoral politics at all. The electoral college voted and… that’s who determines the powers of the presidency in our system,” Kiley said.
Asked if the election was stolen, he said, “I don’t delve into national politics. Nice try. That’s what Gavin Newsom wants us to do.”
In March, The Bee asked Kiley if President Joe Biden was legitimately elected. “I’m looking ahead to the next election. I don’t think it does us any good to be litigating past battles,” Kiley said.
Trump was effusive Saturday in his praise of Kiley.
“Kevin is smart and tough. He earned his Bachelor’s Degree from Harvard and his Law Degree from Yale. Kevin Kiley is tough on securing our border, ending California’s reckless universal mail-in-ballots and securing our elections,” Trump said.
“Kevin is going to be a MAGA Champion in Congress and has my Complete and Total Endorsement!”
Kiley was pleased. “We have all witnessed the damage the Biden administration has done to America by reversing President Trump’s policies — the raging inflation, open borders, massive supply chain shortages, and job-killing tax increases.,” he said in a statement.
“I will fight to restore the prosperous economy, secure border, and safe communities that marked President Trump’s time in office, and I am honored to have his endorsement. In Congress, I will fight for America by taking on Joe Biden and Nancy Pelosi and their radical agenda just like I take on Gavin Newsom in California.”