California Lt. Gov. Eleni Kounalakis introduced she is operating for governor on Monday, laying down an early marker for what’s more likely to be a vigorous 2026 marketing campaign to exchange termed-out Gov. Gavin Newsom.
The Democrat asserted in her announcement that she is nicely certified for the put up due to the mixture of her expertise in authorities — two phrases in her present workplace in addition to serving as U.S. ambassador to Hungary in the course of the Obama administration — in addition to within the non-public sector, the place she lead a Sacramento growth firm based by her father.
“Because the proud daughter of an immigrant who got here to California with nothing, my household owes all the pieces to this state — I’m operating for governor to make sure all Californians have the alternatives we’ve had,” Kounalakis mentioned in an announcement.
Her household is rich and has spent generously on their political priorities, together with Kounalakis’ lieutenant governor’s race and Phil Angelides’ unsuccessful 2006 gubernatorial run.
The 57-year-old’s announcement that she was opening a gubernatorial marketing campaign committee permits her to boost $72,800 per donor, and mirrors Newsom’s determination to enter the 2018 governor’s race three years early. The pair are suggested by the identical political consultants.
The race to guide the world’s fifth-largest financial system is anticipated to attract many contenders from a big pool of formidable Democratic politicians in search of their subsequent perch.
If Kounalakis is profitable, she could be the primary girl elected to guide the state. Sen. Dianne Feinstein and former Hewlett-Packard chief Meg Whitman are among the many ladies who’ve unsuccessfully run for the put up.
“We now have by no means had a lady governor of the state of California. If I don’t attempt to arrange a marketing campaign to be the primary, who will?” Kounalakis informed The Instances in 2022.
The lieutenant governor’s put up is considered as largely ceremonial, however two of the state’s final 4 governors held the put up — Newsom and former Gov. Grey Davis. Kounalakis highlighted her work within the job opposing tuition hikes and different insurance policies that will doubtless be widespread with the state’s liberal voters.
“I’ve fought arduous to maintain the doorways of alternative open for all by making school extra accessible, took on the Trump administration’s makes an attempt to increase offshore drilling, fought for brand new legal guidelines to guard ladies from sexual assault, and expanded entry to reproductive selection.”