Report: Becerra exploring run for California governor

Xavier Becerra has reportedly told top Democratic operatives that he is considering returning to California to try to succeed Gov. Gavin Newsom in 2026.

U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra is reportedly looking to return to California to run for governor in 2026. 

Politico reported that the former California Attorney General is considering leaving the Biden administration to possibly join a crowded field looking to replace Gov. Gavin Newsom when he is termed out of office. 


The backstory: Becerra served in the House of Representatives from 1993-2017 before becoming the state Attorney General, where he stayed until 2021 when Biden came calling. 

The big picture: According to Politico, Becerra has had conversations in recent weeks where he told Democratic officials and operatives that he would leave the Biden administration after the November election to run for governor. 

  • If Becerra makes that jump, he would join a field that already has a number of high-profile Democratic candidates. 
  • Lt. Gov. Eleni Kounalakis led the field by announcing her candidacy in April 2023, a whole three years ahead of the election. 
  • Former Senate President Pro Tem Toni Atkins and State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond were next, and former Controller Betty Yee was the latest to join the race last month. 
  • California Attorney General Rob Bonta has also been widely speculated to launch his own campaign as well. 
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