In early January, former US Rep. Doug Ose (R-Sacramento) announced that he would enter the open 2018 Governor’s campaign. Now, less than two months later, he’s dropping out. Republicans need a strong candidate just to qualify for the November ballot in the state’s top-two jungle primary format. Again having two Democrats run against each other in the Governor’s general election will ostensibly make it more difficult for Republicans to turn out their voters for the down ballot campaigns, especially when fielding no Senate candidate, either.
Orange County Assemblyman Travis Allen (R-Huntington Beach) now appears to be the Republicans’ best chance to qualify a November contender, but he will either have to place ahead of former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa or state Treasurer John Chiang (D) in order to continue his campaign. Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) appears to be a lock to finish first in the June 5th qualifying primary. With the candidate filing deadline fast approaching on March 9th, more than 40 candidates could earn placement on the gubernatorial ballot. Four-term Gov. Jerry Brown (D; 1975-83; 2011-present) is ineligible to seek re-election.
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