Simon Departs Calif. Gubernatorial Recall Race

August 25, 2003

Californians going to the polls on Oct. 7 will have one less Republican choice in the race to recall Gov. Gray Davis and elect a never governor.

On Saturday morning, Republican candidate Bill Simon departed the race, reportedly getting pressure from party officials to narrow the conservative choices for voters. State Sen. Tom McClintock now appears to be the conservative choice on the Republican side, while the more liberal Arnold Schwarzenegger still leads in most polls among top Republican voters.

Simon, whose name will still appear on the ballot in October, and who lost the 2002 race for governor to Davis, was pulling in single digits in most polls among potential voters. Simon indicated in his announcement Saturday that the Republican field was too crowded.

McClintock, meantime, who told Insurance Journal last week in an interview that addressing the workers’ compensation problem will be among his first acts as governor, has been running behind Schwarzenegger in the polls, but now may gain more support as the lone conservative choice for Republicans.

“I am in this race to the end,” McClintock told Insurance Journal. “I will debate anyone, anywhere.”

Simon’s departures leaves three leading Republicans among the 135 candidates on the ballot to oust Davis: Schwarzenegger, former baseball commissioner Peter Ueberroth, and McClintock.

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