Former baseball star Steve Garvey has entered the race to succeed Dianne Feinstein, looking to be the first Republican elected to the Senate from California in 35 years.
Garvey, 74, announced his entrance into the race on Tuesday, placing himself in a race that has high-profile Democrats leading in early polls.
The backstory: As Garvey says in his announcement video, he first came to California over 50 years ago when he joined the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1969.
- He would play for the Dodgers through 1982, winning MVP in 1974 and helping the team win the 1981 World Series.
- Garvey moved south to join the San Diego Padres in 1983, where he would stay until his retirement in 1987.
Driving the news: According to a poll from the UC Berkeley Institute of Governmental Studies last month, Garvey was polling at five percent, although it was hypothetical at that point since he was not officially in the race.
- Congressional Reps. Adam Schiff (D–Burbank) and Katie Porter (D–Irvine) led the field at 20 percent and 17 percent, respectively.
- Garvey’s main GOP competition appears to be James Bradley and Erick Early, who polled at seven percent and five percent, respectively.
- Rep. Barbara Lee (D–Oakland) presents another challenge for Garvey to overcome, and it remains to be seen what Sen. Laphonza Butler decides to do after she was recently appointed to replace Feinstein.
What they’re saying: In the video, Garvey said his campaign will be one of common sense, and his campaign website focuses on issues like public safety, homelessness, national security and California’s quality of life.
- “I played in front of millions of fans,” Garvey said. “I never played for Democrats, Republicans or independents. I played for all of you. Now I’m running for the U.S. Senate in California, a state that I believe at one time was the heartbeat of America, and now it’s just a murmur.”