Former Republican congressman George Radanovich of Mariposa announced this week that he is mulling a run for governor with an email touting a "program of rebuilding the private sector and then cutting government."
"I believe Californians are ready for change and the time is ripe for a new approach," Radanovich said in the email. "That is why I am considering entering the race for governor of California."
Gov. Jerry Brown appears so far to be in prime position to win a second term. A recent Public Policy Institute of California poll gave the Democrat an overall approval rating of 49% among likely voters. Though a mere 23% of Republicans approved of the job he is doing, 65% of Democrats and 48% of independents backed him.
Brown's chief challenges so far have come from former Lt. Gov. Abel Maldonado, the Santa Marian who has framed his campaign as a referendum on Brown's response to California's prison overcrowding crisis, and from Assembly Member Tim Donnelly, R-Twin Peaks, a reliable antagonist of legislative Democrats whose far-right positions have endeared him to conservative constituents but throw into question his mainstream viability.
Maldonado's campaign has shown signs of serious disarray lately, including the departure of some top advisers and anemic fundraising figures that Brown easily eclipsed.
Enter Radanovich, a former Mariposa County supervisor who served in Congress from 1995 to 2010.
In his email, he trumpeted his work with the Fresno-based Restore California pilot project, which seeks to reduce "social pathologies" such as out-of-wedlock births and children growing up without fathers.
"Restore California places the private sector ahead of California government and parents ahead of the village," Radanovich wrote. "In so doing, the cost of education will drop because more and more California children will enter school from a good foundation of parental support and ready to learn.
"The cost of fighting crime and housing criminals will decrease because more and more California children will enter society from this same foundation."
— Jeremy B. White, The Sacramento Bee
Leticia Perez appears at Fresno County eventKern County Supervisor Leticia Perez showed up at this week's state-of-Fresno County breakfast speech by Board of Supervisors Chair Henry R. Perea.
So what brought the Bakersfield Democrat 110 miles north?
There was some speculation that she already is gearing up for a second state Senate battle against Hanford Republican Andy Vidak, who beat Perez in July.
Vidak is filling Michael Rubio's current term, which is up next year. So he will immediately face a re-election battle, but in the newly created 14th state Senate district.
"We would love to see her run again in 2014," Fresno County Young Democrats Chairman Matt Rogers said.
A few other names have been rumored, but so far nobody has stepped forward and Perez is still the most prominent potential Vidak challenger.
But Perez said her visit had nothing to do with campaigning or exploring a Vidak rematch. When asked why she was in Fresno, Perez replied: "Visiting the city I have fallen in love with and reconnecting with old friends."
— John Ellis