Running for governor of California is a very moderate Republican named Neel Kashkari.
Kashkari is a Wall-Street figure who helped the administrations of George W. Bush and Barack Obama arrange, during the 2008-2009 financial crisis, the bailouts of several banks.
Kashkari, 40, is running in the June 2014 primary. Kashkari is a life-long Republican.
Because of a change in California’s voting laws, all candidates running for governor appear on just one ballot, regardless of party.
In a recent poll, Jerry Brown, California’s incumbent governor and a Democrat, had the support of 57 percent of likely voters. In the same poll, Tim Donnelly, a Republican member of the California State Assembly, garnered 17 percent of the likely voters. Kashkari came in with 2 percent.
Kashkari says his campaign is about two things: jobs and schools. “That’s it,” he said recently.
Kashkari says he does not wish to be involved with such social issues as abortion and gay marriage.
Kashkari, whose ancestors lived in India, worked for Pimco, the world’s largest bond-trading company. Pimco is located in Orange County, California. Kashkari went to work for Pimco after leaving government service.
Kashkari has defended the bank bailouts of 2008-2009. He believes that America’s banking system would have collapsed without the bailouts. He has said that if a large bank like Citibank had failed during the financial crisis, people all over America would have tried, simultaneously, to take their money out of banks. Because banks keep only a fraction of a depositor’s money on hand (the rest is lent out or invested), a massive effort by customers to withdraw funds would have forced banks to close, leaving depositors with no money at all.
Since Pete Wilson was governor of California (1991-1999) moderate Republicans, with the exception of Arnold Schwarzenegger, have had trouble winning statewide elections.
Currently, all officials elected statewide are Democrats.