Former Lt. Gov. Abel Maldonado is interested in seeking the Republican nomination for Governor. He becomes the second recognized Republican to express interest in the job. Assemblyman Tim Donnelly also said he is thinking about running. The two potential candidates come from different wings of the Republican Party potentially setting up a lively and entertaining contest.

However, this is the era of the Top Two Primary so the two candidates will appear on the ballot with all candidates running for governor, expected to include the incumbent, Jerry Brown.

Will the Top Two primary mute the contest between Maldonado and Donnelly as each candidate attempts to pull the party in a different direction?

And might other recognized Republican candidates jump into the race clouding the race for the voters, or perhaps, adding to the excitement for political junkies?

Right now, no Republican candidate is given much of a chance against Governor Brown if he chooses to run again. Even if he decides to retire (the Governor turns 75 Sunday—Happy Birthday, Governor) Republicans are given little chance in this blue state.

However, Republicans running for governor have achieved success in other blue states over the last couple of decades. There have been Republican governors in both Massachusetts and New York, for example. Massachusetts has even fewer Republicans as a percentage of total voters than California; New York Republican registration is about the same as California.

As for Maldonado’s chances – F&H contributor Steve Maviglio, now working for Speaker John Perez, told Carla Marinucci of the San Francisco Chronicle that Maldonado was not a serious candidate because he was “an electoral loser” being defeated in recent elections.

There have been a number of candidates who have won elections after having suffered electoral defeats over their careers. One I have already mentioned here – Jerry Brown.