Former San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer announces his candidacy for California governor at a news conference in Los Angeles.

LOS ANGELES–Former San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer officially kicked off his campaign for governor of California Tuesday at a news conference in Los Angeles.

Outside two schools in Los Angeles, Faulconer vowed to fight for a “California Comeback” and pledged to restore California’s promise.

The former two-term mayor was joined by parents frustrated with Governor Gavin Newsom’s leadership during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I’m running for governor to lead the California comeback and fulfill California’s promise of freedom, fairness and opportunity,” Faulconer said. “I’m running to be a voice for Californians suffering during this pandemic because Sacramento can’t do the basics, to restore balance and common-sense to California, and to get people back to work, back to school, and back to being proud of our state.”

The launch comes after Faulconer’s exploratory committee announced it had raised over $1 million in just over three weeks.

“The private school across the street has safely reopened because it’s accountable to parents, but this public school is closed because it’s accountable to Gavin Newsom,” Faulconer said.

Faulconer said Newsom promised the public that schools would start reopening in February, but his plan has “fizzled” after being widely criticized.

“California has so much promise, but we are led by promise-breaker-in-chief Gavin Newsom. Gavin Newsom promised equality but deepened inequality, promised prosperity but destroyed jobs, and promised to safely reopen schools but can’t get the job done.”

Faulconer is a candidate for both the gubernatorial recall election, should it qualify, and the upcoming 2022 gubernatorial election.