Becerra mum on possible governor run in 2026

Xavier Becerra did not take the bait in Fresno on Monday to say whether or not he’ll jump into the gubernatorial race.

U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Xavier Becerra joined Rep. Jim Costa (D–Fresno) in Fresno on Monday to discuss healthcare issues in the Central Valley. 

While hosting a press conference at UCSF in downtown Fresno, though, Becerra dodged a question about if he will jump into the 2026 gubernatorial race to succeed Gov. Gavin Newsom. 


Bonta’s visit: Becerra, the former California Attorney General, toured the medical training program at UCSF. 

  • During the press conference, Becerra and Costa announced a new public-private partnership between UCSF Fresno Mobile HeaL and Upstream USA to expand access to contraceptive care in the Central Valley. 
  • That followed his visit to town on Saturday as the keynote speaker at the Chicano/Latino Commencement at Fresno State. 

The backstory: Politico reported last month that Becerra is exploring a run for governor in 2026. 

  • He served in the House of Representatives from 1993-2017 before becoming Attorney General until 2021 when joining President Joe Biden’s administration. 
  • Politico reported that Becerra told Democratic officials and operatives that he would leave the Biden administration to run for governor after the November election. 
  • Lt. Gov. Eleni Kounalakis, former Senate President Pro Tem Toni Atkins, State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond and former state Controller Betty Yee have all launched campaigns for governor. Attorney General Rob Bonta is also rumored to be interested in the position as well. 

What they’re saying: On Monday, Becerra shrugged a question about his potentially launching a campaign for governor. 

  • “What I can say there is I am thrilled that the president gave me a chance to be Secretary of the Health and Human Services,” Becerra said “It’s not something everyone gets to do. Only 24 others have had a chance to do it. I’m going to do it as well as I can. And then – chatting with the boss – I’ll see what I do after that.”
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