It’s been a theme of this column that the current contest for California governor is a Seinfeld campaign. The three leading candidates – two Republicans and one Democrat – aren’t addressing the profound questions posed by the state’s fundamental and crippling governmental dysfunction. They’re offering personal attacks when they should be talking about how to rescue California from its current crisis.

So, is there a better choice out there?

Probably not. The system itself is so broken that a governor has such limited power – particularly in fiscal matters, which require two-thirds votes – that the state’s future is likely to be roughly the same no matter who wins the election.

That future is bleak: more and more waves of budget cuts that hurt important institutions such as the university system, more accounting gimmicks to paper over persistent deficits, and more borrowing. Debt service is already the fastest-rising part of the budget. The next governor, whether he or she wants to or not, will be managing debt and decline.

When you look at that unhappy reality, I can think of one person in the state best suited for that kind of job: Bill Gross.

Never heard of him? Gross is the world’s most prominent bond investor and a founder and managing director of PIMCO, the Newport Beach-based mutual fund giant. He’s an expert in debt, and probably knows as much as anyone about government debt.

Such expertise is precisely what this state needs. Gross doesn’t come from politics, but he’s shown an interest, writing frankly, extensively (and bearishly) about this country’s governmental and debt problems. He supported Obama but has a pox-on-both parties attitude as best expressed here.

His personality – in profiles, he comes across as prickly, quirky and imperious — might not be a good fit with politics. (Though, let’s face it, some of those same adjectives could describe Meg Whitman or Jerry Brown or both).

Gross seems much too smart to run for office. Given his reach in the financial world, he’d have to face all kinds of questions about conflicts of interest. His hard-nosed investment decisions over the past four decades could easily be used against him in the campaign.

But he’d be the right skill set for the job. If he were to allow himself to be drafted, he could lead a credible independent campaign for governor. If he were to win, California, at the very least, would have as its CEO a brilliant, tough-minded debt expert with credibility in the markets – at a time when no subject is more important to the state’s fiscal survival.