Bonta won’t decide on governor race until after November

The California Attorney General has long been rumored to join the crowded field of Democrats for the 2026 race.

Democrats will have to wait to see if another high-profile candidate enters the race to succeed Gov. Gavin Newsom in 2026. 

Attorney General Rob Bonta told the San Francisco Chronicle that he will wait until after the November election to decide on if he will launch a campaign for governor. 


The big picture: If Bonta decides to run for governor, he would join an already crowded field vying to succeed Newsom. 

  • Lt. Gov. Eleni Kounalakis was the first to jump into the race, followed by former state Senate leader Toni Atkins, Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond and former state Controller Betty Yee. 
  • U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra, the former California Attorney General, is also reportedly weighing a run for governor. 
  • Bonta succeeded Becerra as Attorney General after serving in the Assembly for nearly a decade. 

What they’re saying: Bonta told the Chronicle that an announcement at this point would be “premature, to be honest,” saying he thinks the state needs to get through 2024 before looking ahead to 2026. 

  • His current focus, Bonta said, is on helping President Joe Biden get reelected, and helping Democrats in their Congressional elections. 
  • “The best audition for anything that I might want to do next is to do as good a job as I can in the role I’m in,” Bonta told the Chronicle. “There will be time to make a decision; that time’s not now.” 
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