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SAN DIEGO — Republican gubernatorial candidate and former San Diego mayor Kevin Faulconer addressed supporters Tuesday night as early results showed Gov. Gavin Newsom had taken a strong lead in the recall election.

Faulconer said that though votes remained to be counted, his work in California is not finished.

He said he tried to keep the focus of his campaign on issues like homelessness, wildfire prevention and the cost of living in the Golden State, but that in his opinion, the focus shifted and turned to “national politics and personalities.”

“I’m not one that’s part of a circus,” Faulconer said. “I’m the guy that comes in to end the circus. And that’s what I’ve done as mayor. That’s what I always did and what I was known for as mayor of San Diego when we came in at a very difficult time during our city’s history. It’s a very difficult time for our state’s history. And that’s why we need the leadership — again, somebody who understands how do you win in California. You win by addition. You win by bringing Democrats, Republicans and independents together for real change.”

Faulconer closed his remarks by saying he would take time to determine the best steps to “continue to be a fighter” and serve the state.

“I will leave you with this: Tonight is round one. There is more to come,” Faulconer said.