SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — The Republican primary race for governor of California looks to be a matchup between a moderate newcomer and a “down the line conservative” Assemblyman.
Laguna Beach millionaire Neel Kashkari has started campaigning after entering the race this week. He’s a former Goldman Sachs investment banker who later served as an assistant secretary of the U.S. Treasury for the Bush and Obama administrations.
His bid for governor is his first run for elected office.
“I want to create good jobs for California families, and I want every California kid to get a good education,” he said.
He’s considered a moderate who supports a woman’s right to choose and same-sex marriage.
“Keep the government out of our homes, out of our hospitals, out of our bedrooms,” he said.
He’ll be up against Assemblyman Tim Donnelly (R-San Bernardino), a conservative who is supported by tea party Republicans.
Claremont McKenna College professor of politics Jack Pitney says Republican voters will have a clear choice to make in June.
“It’s a choice between a straight down the line conservative, and a moderate who has probably a better chance of being competitive in the general election,” he said.
The winner between Donnelly and Kashkari would face a yet-to-be-named Democratic challenger. Current Gov. Jerry Brown, 75, has yet to declare if he will run for a second term.
Pitney says that would be a huge shock if that were to happen.
“But if there’s one consistency to Jerry Brown’s career, it’s the capacity to surprise,” he said.