California Democrat John Chiang Enters 2018 Governor’s Race

John Chiang (Facebook)

California Treasurer John Chiang officially joined the 2018 governor’s race, and will be competing against fellow Democrat Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom to take over outgoing Gov. Jerry Brown’s post.

So far, Chiang and Newsom are the only two people who have officially announced their candidacy.

According to the Los Angeles Times, Chiang, 53, said “As your next Governor, I have a blueprint for expanding and renewing the California dream through fixing our crumbling infrastructure, making retirement security our generation’s call to arms, and rebuilding California’s middle class through better jobs and improved educational opportunities.”

The governor’s race will be an expensive one. As such, the Times reports that Chiang hass opened an official campaign account and will start raising money.

Newsom, 48, announced his candidacy in February and has reportedly raised $5.4 million and has over $8 million on hand. The Times notes that Chiang’s political consultant, Parke Skelton, said that Chiang still has $3.2 million left from his successful 2014 bid for his current post.

The Sacramento Bee reported on Tuesday that “within hours of Chiang’s announcement, Assemblyman Mike Gatto, D-Los Angeles, and Board of Equalization member Fiona Ma both said they will run for treasurer in 2018.”

Chiang, who grew up in New York and Chicago before moving to the Golden State, is the son of Taiwanese immigrants. In 1999, his sister, Joyce was murdered in Washington, D.C. (Her case has presented similarities to the Chandra Levy case.)

Former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, 63, has also expressed interest in running and is doing well in an early Field Poll. In an interview with Breitbart News in March, he said “I still have a lot of service left in me,” potentially foreshadowing a coming announcement.

The Times provides a nice profile of other figures who are likely to run for governor. Other potential Democrats to enter the governor’s race include Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, 45; billionaire climate change enthusiast Tom Steyer, 58; and Silicon Valley venture capitalist Steve Westly, 59.

On the Republican side, there is San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer, 48; and Mayor of Fresno Ashley Swearengin, 43, who supported Gov. Jerry Brown’s $70 billion high-speed rail project.

Follow Adelle Nazarian on Twitter @AdelleNaz