Coalition urges Riverside Sheriff Bianco to run for governor

While Riverside County Sheriff Chad Bianco has not announced any plans to campaign, dozens of elected officials are calling on him to run for California’s highest position.

Republican leaders throughout California are urging Riverside County Sheriff Chad Bianco to run for governor in 2026. 

So far no Republicans have entered the race to succeed Gov. Gavin Newsom, with a number of high-profile Democrats already duking it out for the job years in advance. 


The big picture: The Draft Bianco coalition announced Thursday that it is trying to “draft” Bianco to run for governor. 

  • The coalition is headed by the Republican Party of Riverside County and includes dozens of elected leaders throughout California. 

The backstory: Bianco was elected Riverside County Sheriff in 2018 and was reelected in 2022 by over 20 points. 

  • He started his career in law enforcement in 1993 and worked his way up through the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department. 

State of play: Two Congressman top the list of supporters who are part of the coalition to draft Bianco for governor: Rep. Ken Calvert (Corona) and Rep. Darrell Issa (R–Bonsall). 

  • Valley lawmakers Asm. Devon Mathis (R–Visalia) and Asm. Heath Flora (R–Ripon) are two of 11 legislators listed as supporters. 
  • Bianco also has the support of nearly 40 California sheriffs, including Stanislaus County Sheriff Jeff Dirkse, Merced County Sheriff Vern Warnke, Madera County Sheriff Tyson Pogue, Fresno County Sheriff John Zanoni, Kings County Sheriff David Robinson, Tulare County Sheriff Mike Boudreaux and Kern County Sheriff Donny Youngblood. 

What they’re saying: Former State Senator Dennis Hollingsworth, the Chairman of the Draft Bianco coalition, said California voters need a real alternative who is a strong and capable candidate. 

  • “Sheriff Bianco has served Riverside County with the utmost integrity and has always kept our communities safe,” Hollingsworth said. “In the face of Sacramento’s failures on issues like crime and homelessness, Sheriff Bianco’s leadership has been an example for other communities to follow across the state.” 
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