(CALMATTERS) – Maybe you thought California’s one and only gubernatorial debate of 2022 was going to be boring.

Maybe you assumed that because Gov. Gavin Newsom is leading his opponent, Republican state Sen. Brian Dahle, in the polls by 30 percentage points, had to be cajoled into debating in the first place, and then only agreed to do so on the radio on a Sunday at the same time as a 49ers game, that the whole thing would feel phoned-in and low-key.

You would be wrong. 

At the San Francisco studios of KQED, Newsom and Dahle tore into one another, with the governor denouncing his opponent’s opposition to abortion and California’s climate policy and Dahle deriding the governor’s “dream of being president” and blaming him for just about every one of California’s woes. 

If you don’t have time to watch the entire hour-long debate, CalMatters’ Alexei Koseff was on scene and has the top takeaways.

  • Newsom: “He does not support reproductive freedom, does not support reproductive choice, regardless of rape, regardless of incest.”
  • Dahle: “Californians are fleeing California for one reason — because they can’t afford to live here — and he’s out of touch with everyday, hardworking, middle-class Californians.”