Steve Poizner joins race for California governor The Republican insurance commissioner says state government needs 'serious reforms.'
SACRAMENTO -- California Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner took the first step toward a run for governor today, forming an exploratory committee to raise money for a campaign to replace fellow Republican Arnold Schwarzenegger. .
In doing so, Poizner joins San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom and Lt. Gov. John Garamendi, both Democrats, and former GOP congressman Tom Campbell.
"Californians are frustrated with their government and are right to expect their elected leaders to work together to address California's biggest challenges," Poizner said in a statement, making an apparent reference to this year's historic budget impasse. "Serious reforms are needed to make our state government work again."
Poizner, 51, made a fortune in the Silicon Valley technology sector and was elected to his statewide post in 2006. He led a successful effort this year to defeat a ballot measure that would have changed the state term-limits law and allowed the Democratic leaders of the Assembly and state Senate to extend their stay in office.
His committee will be led by political consultant and former state Sen. Jim Brulte. Poizner also released a list of 21 GOP state lawmakers he said have endorsed him.
Schwarzenegger is barred by term limits from running again after his term ends in 2010.