Capitol Alert: Republican George Radanovich weighs California governor run

jwhite@sacbee.comSeptember 26, 2013 

RADANOVICHGEORGEMCT.jpgWith former Lt. Gov Abel Maldonado's gubernatorial bid foundering, another Republican candidate is dipping his toe in the 2014 race.

Former Republican congressman George Radanovich announced that he is mulling a run with an email Thursday 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 governor an overall approval rating of 49 percent among likely voters. Though a mere 23 percent of Republicans approved of the job he's doing, 65 percent of Democrats and 48 percent of independents backed him.

Brown's chief challenges so far have come from Maldonado, who has framed his campaign as a referendum on Brown's response to California's prison overcrowding crisis, and from Assemblyman 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."

PHOTO: Former Rep. George Radanovich in 2007. Handout.

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