From: Kim Alexander
Date: January 20, 1998
Subject: Feinstein turns down bid for Calif. Governor

Will she or won't she? The wondering is over, folks. Today Dianne Feinstein announced that she will not be entering the California governor's race this year. Her announcement today ends months of speculation and leaves some uncertainty about who will emerge as the Democratic Party's nominee for governor this year. Will it be California Lieutenant Governor Gray Davis? Or millionaire Al Checchi? Or perhaps veteran lawmaker John Vasconcellos?

Most folks around here in Sacramento think the Republican Party's nomination will surely go to Attorney General Dan Lungren, while others are looking forward to seeing if Lungren's nemesis, medical marijuana advocate Dennis Peron, can put a dent in Lungren's lead. Peron has filed for the Republican party nomination, and is the first California candidate to attempt to make use of the state's new open primary law, which allows all voters to cast ballot in any party's primary election.

Feinstein's decision to stay out of the race can be viewed as an indictment of California's electoral process. Feinstein was quoted in news reports as saying she didn't want to enter "a very debilitating campaign environment." Her feelings are understandable, considering she waged three expensive and highly competitive statewide campaigns in a row. Campaigning to 15 million registered voters is never easy or cheap.

For the latest news, I recommend visiting the Capitol Alert web site, at, which features news stories and statements from Gov. Pete Wilson, Al Checchi and Gray Davis.

Kim Alexander, Executive Director, California Voter Foundation


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this page authored by Kim Alexander,

first published 1/20/98

last updated 1/21/98

© 1998, California Voter Foundation