Former eBay chief executive Meg Whitman officially submitted her bid to explore a run for governor on Monday.
The move by the billionaire businesswoman sets up what’s expected to be an expensive, 17-month auction between herself and Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner in the 2010 Republican primary.
“California faces challenges unlike any other time in its history — a weak and faltering economy, massive job losses, and an exploding state budget deficit. California is better than this, and I refuse to stand by and watch it fail,” Whitman said in a prepared statement, announcing her exploration of a run for governor. “Now is the time for people across the state to join in a cause for change, excellence and a new California.”
Whitman, 52, first stepped onto the political stage in last year’s presidential campaign, initially as a fundraiser to GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney, then as a senior adviser to Republican nominee John McCain.
McCain, at one point, called Whitman one of the “three wisest people” he knew, handing her a speech at the Republican National Convention in St. Paul, Minn.
The race will be an expensive one in the June GOP primary election between Whitman and California Insurance Commissioner and fellow billionaire Steve Poizner.
Whitman has an impressive list of Republican endorsers including former California Governor and U.S. Senator Pete Wilson, former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney and Senator John McCain. Other California co-chairs of her campaign include:
- Sen. Tony Strickland, R-Moorpark
- Rep. Mary Bono-Mack, R-Palm Springs
- Assemblyman Nathan Fletcher, R-San Diego
- Former Assemblywoman Sharon Runner, R-Lancaster
What is interesting is that Whitman boasts conservative and moderate pro-choice Republican supporters.
Whitman wil be criticzed having just registered as a Republican in 2007 and having missed some chances to vote in recent elections. But, unlike, Caroline Kennedy, Meg’s Whitman’s REAL success in business should trump these negatives.
Here is Whitman’s introductory video:
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