February 9th, 2009
05:40 PM ET
5 years ago

Whitman wants to be California's next governor

Whitman wants to be California's next governor.
Whitman wants to be California's next governor.

(CNN) - Meg Whitman, the former CEO of eBay, announced Monday she's interested in running for governor of California, setting up what's likely to be among the most hotly contested gubernatorial races in 2010.

Whitman, a Republican, announced on her Web site she is establishing an exploratory committee to seek the state's top post - the traditional first step before a full campaign is launched.

In the statement announcing the committee, Whitman made clear she will stress her economic credentials and business acumen to help the state weather through its waning economy.

"California faces challenges unlike any other time in its history – a weak and faltering economy, massive job losses, and an exploding state budget deficit," she said in the statement. "California is better than this, and I refuse to stand by and watch it fail."

Though she's never held elective office, Whitman is no stranger to politics. She served as a high-profile surrogate for John McCain's presidential bid, and was considered to a potential choice for the Arizona senator's running mate.

Forbes Magazine valued Whitman's worth at $1.4 billion in 2007.

Two other Republicans have already formally expressed interest in running for the seat - Former Rep. Tom Campbell and current California insurance commissioner Steve Poizner, another former Silicon Valley CEO.

Whitman could also face California Sen. Diane Feinstein in a general election match up, though Feinstein has yet to say one way or another if she is running.

Other Democrats who are reportedly considering running for the post include San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom and Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa.

Current California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger is prevented from seeking reelection due to term limits.


Filed under: Meg Whitman
soundoff (266 Responses)
  1. native of cali

    Great. Another out-of-touch rich person who thinks they can "run California like a business".

    And please, no more movie stars.

    February 9, 2009 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  2. Sam

    This is one of those anamolies I never understand...A blue state like Cali electing a RED as a ruby governors like AHNOLD, Reagan...go figure...

    February 9, 2009 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  3. Larry from RI

    Just what we need – another ultra-rich pig at the trough preaching tax breaks for corporations, an unregulated free market and more of the same trickle down my leg economics!

    February 9, 2009 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  4. indepent voter supporting her

    I will support her for the Govenorship of our great state.

    February 9, 2009 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  5. edwardjbaker

    There is NO WAY I would vote for a former CEO to run the Government . Istead of millions they would STEAL BILLIONS .. No more Republican Presidents .Democrat ,Independent and Average joes is What i`ll vote for .

    February 9, 2009 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  6. Gary

    I think Arnold has pretty much insured that California won't vote for another Republican.

    February 9, 2009 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  7. Darth Vadik, CA

    Didn't the Italians vote in a billionare in too, and he wanted to use the 300,000 military troops to do police work, kinda like Republicans do, but the last guy to do that in Italy was called Mussolini

    February 9, 2009 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  8. ESTELLA DAVIS

    IT IS LADIES DAY OUT, ISN'T IT? WOMEN THROW MONKEY WRENCHES INTO ANY THING THEY INITIATE. WHAT HAPPENS AFTER THAT IS ANYONE'S, AND I DO MEAN ANYONES GUESS. AS FAR AS WHITMAN IS CONCERNED, SHE MUST ADMIT THAT IT IS ANOTHER DAY FOR CALIFORNIA. THAT DAY SHE IS REFERRING TO IS OVER AND PAST. NO MORE BEACH BOYS AND PAT BOONE CALIFORNIA DAYS THEY ARE GONE FOREVER IN CALIFORNIA. LET IT FALL. IF IT SHOULD RISE AGAIN ANOTHER DAY, SO BE IT, BUT, FOR NOW, IT IS TEXAS, TEXAS AND MORE TEXAS AND JUST GETTING STARTED ALONG WITH NEVADA AND ARIZONA. GIVE CALIFORNA ITS MUCH NEEDED REST LIKE WE HAD TO GIVE NEW YORK HER MUCH NEEDED REST YEARS AGO. ENJOY, BUT, REALIZE WHEN IT IS OVER, IT IS OVER. AND CALIFORNIA JOINS THE RANKS OF THE LIKES OF NEW YORK, NEW JERSEY AND FLORIDA. YOU HAD YOUR DAYS, NOW IT IS ANOTHER AREA OF THE COUNTRY, THAT'S ALL THERE IS TO IT. LET GO WHEN IT IS TIME TO LET GO. MOVE THE MONEY AROUND TO PLACES OF TODAY LIKE TEXAS, NEVADA , ARIZONA AND HAWAII. THE OLD SHOW WHITE BEACH DAYS OF CALIFORNIA ARE DUH TODAY. MOVE ON KIDO. BY THE WAY, MICHELLE OBAMA IS BARBARA JEAN CARTER-TILLMAN AND OPRAH WINFREY IS ORA LEE MITCHELL-MADISON. AND THAT IS WHY THE STUFF IS de facto ALL THE WAY TO ALCATRAZ ISLAND AND BACK.

    February 9, 2009 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  9. Spencer/Newport News, VA

    Before people even consider this lady to run for governor, we need to find out how well run a company was E-Bay when she was CEO. For all I know, she may be a part of the problem that seems to be a disease infecting corporate executives.

    February 9, 2009 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  10. Demfounded

    Pepper – funny you say Meg has no experience but look at who is in the Oval. I'd take a CEO of a successful company over a community activist any day of the week.

    February 9, 2009 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  11. TexasAnnie *-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*

    What we ALL need is to start looking at every candidate as an individual and get over this ignorant party politics stuff. Too many people vote in too many idiots just because they were running on a particular ticket.
    People, take the time to educate yourself about each individual candidate. There are good & bad in every single party. To vote for someone just because they're running as a Republican or a Democrat is like voting blind. It says you're too lazy to find out the facts about the candidates.
    Educate yourself about each individual candidate!!!!!!!

    February 9, 2009 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  12. Simmy

    Be sure and ask McCain and Palin to campaign for you.

    February 9, 2009 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  13. Scott the Independent

    RC@4:09 – Both parties do have scandals but when one party runs on morality and high standards like the republican party its hipocrisy in its worst form as advocates of faith the GOP has promoted military misadventurism for profit and attributed to the erosion of American democracy as well as cultivated a culture of financial greed from DC to Wall street and back again. Just to name a few lets try Mark Foley and the family values he was attempting to instill on male pages; how about the male prostitute that had been planted as a news reporter with security clearance in 2005; or maybe a few bribry scandals pick one or two Jack Abramoff Randy "Duke" Cunningham (R-CA) $2M in bribes; Bob Ney (R-OH) for accepting bribes in exchange for various legislative favors; and Tom DeLay (R-TX). When you claim to be forthright and all you do is lie, cheat and steal there is nothing to ever be proud of. The GOP is a sad and sorry party.

    February 9, 2009 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  14. Gracie, MD

    This woman is worth $1.4 Billion huh?

    Well maybe she SHOULD bail out the millions of workers who have been FORCED to take a day off without pay OR lost their jobs because the state is BROKE!!!

    February 9, 2009 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  15. Bailey

    Are you people nuts? So a commuity organizer was more qualified for president than the CEO of eBay for governor?

    BS in Economics from Princeton

    MBA from Harvard

    Donated millions to Princeton for them to build a new college.

    She made a lot of money from eBay b/c she started there when it had only 30 employees.

    No wonder we are doomed to fail as a mation when half the population hates success and anyone that earns it!

    February 9, 2009 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  16. kaw

    OMG, you people are fanatics! Is having the "correct" party affiliation the only thing you care about in a Governor? Do positions on issues count for anything? As far as I know Whitman has not stated any positions, nor has a democratic candidate stepped forward to offer a comparison. Wow, totally amazing.

    February 9, 2009 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
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