Oh No! The 2026 Gubernatorial Race is Already On!

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

The pace of competitive politics is picking up at breakneck speed. We haven’t had the 2020 presidential election yet, Gov. Gavin Newsom barely has begun his first term in office and yet at the Sacramento Press Club yesterday three women constitutional officers when asked by moderator Politico California’s Carla Marinucci if they were considering a run for governor all declared, “I’m in.”

That would be twice elected State Controller Betty Yee, and newly elected Lt. Governor Eleni Kounalakis, and Treasurer Fiona Ma.

No one was laying out a platform yesterday but there were differences noted on one major issue California voters might face soon: the split roll property tax proposal to alter Proposition 13 scheduled for the 2020 November ballot.

The split roll will increase property taxes on commercial property to the tune of $6 to $10 billion.

Controller Yee didn’t like the idea. She is hoping to find a more comprehensive tax reform and suggested the split roll was just a band-aid to fill budget holes without reflecting changes in the state’s economy. Yee wants an overall tax reform to mirror the new economy.

Both Kounalakis and Ma were more supportive of the split roll with the Lt. Governor more enthusiastic than the Treasurer. Kounalakis said the focus should be on large commercial holdings. with carve out for smaller properties. Ma talked of limiting a split roll to tall buildings and focusing on the change of ownership rules. The Lt. Governor’s approach is more in line with the measure that qualified for the ballot.

You think the unions backing the split roll and the business community opposed didn’t notice these off-the cuff responses? The next open gubernatorial election may be over seven years away but political interests are already keeping score.

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