Who Else Might Jump into Big Statewide Races?

Joel Fox
Editor and Co-Publisher of Fox and Hounds Daily

We pretty much know the fields in the big races in California next year for governor and the U.S. Senate—or do we?

Speculation concerning surprise entries to the major races spark the interest of political junkies and political pros. Look at some of the names put out there. Willie Brown in his San Francisco Chronicle  column suggested the way former California First Lady Maria Shriver asked a question at a dinner he attended could mean she is interested in a run for governor.

Former Republican Congressman Doug Ose expressed interest in the top state job. The Nooner’s Scott Lay thinks it’s a strong possibility.

On the Senate side, Calbuzz speculated that stepping down from her leadership position at Hewlett Packard could mean Meg Whitman might jump into the U.S. Senate race.

Carla Marinucci at POLITICO/California posited that socially conscious investor Joe Sanberg might make a run for the Dianne Feinstein seat.

Then there is the constant chatter that billionaire activist Tom Steyer is gearing up for a U.S. Senate race.

Or Tom Steyer is running for governor.

Or Tom Steyer is running for president.

Steyer probably would have competition from other Californians for the White House job in 2020 as U.S. Senator Kamala Harris has been profiled in U.S. News as the “inevitable” one. Let’s not forget about Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti who believes if a reality TV star can make it to the White House the idea that a mayor can make that jump is not so foolish.

And maybe not exactly inevitable but certainly constant over time when it comes to White House speculation is Jerry Brown, who will be out of a job in a year.

But back to California where declaring a run for office in 2018 doesn’t close until March 9.

Anyone jumping in at this point would undoubtedly have to be rich or famous. Both would help.

Are there movie stars or athletes or business tycoons or Silicon Valley wunderkinds or relatively well-known politicians who could be last-minute entries? (I’m not forgetting former Los Angeles Rams lineman Roosevelt Grier, who declared he would run for governor.)

Speaking of football, the contract extension for National Football League Commissioner Roger Goodell for five years means that Condoleezza Rice lost an opportunity at her dream job so perhaps she can be coaxed into going for senate or governor. I’m sure we’ll hear her name come up again and again.

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