Advertisement

California and the West

Schwarzenegger Won't Oppose Davis Next Year

Politics: The actor ends speculation by announcing he won't head the GOP ticket.

March 07, 2001|MARK Z. BARABAK | TIMES POLITICAL WRITER

After weeks of speculation, actor Arnold Schwarzenegger has ruled out a run next year for California governor, a spokeswoman said Tuesday.

The decision ends the prospect of a race between one of the biggest stars in Hollywood and one of the biggest fund-raisers in politics. "The timing's not right" for a Schwarzenegger candidacy, the spokeswoman said, given family and film obligations that will keep him tied up at least through 2004.

"If there were a time in the future when he did not have commitments and felt he could do more good for the country in an official capacity, he would make a determination to run at that time," said Jill Eisenstadt, a publicist for Schwarzenegger. "At this time he can't and he's not."

Schwarzenegger has long been active on the periphery of Republican politics, campaigning for candidates and GOP causes. He has also been active in the Inner-City Games Foundation, an organization he founded that offers Olympic-style sporting events as a way of keeping urban youths away from gangs and drug abuse.

His name surfaced as a possible candidate for governor as Republicans cast about for a viable contender to face Democratic incumbent Gray Davis, who has $26 million in the bank for his reelection campaign.

Schwarzenegger "fit the profile of what the Republican Party is looking for at this time," said independent political analyst Mark Baldassare. "Somebody who's not defined in terms of being a conservative or a moderate. Somebody who can attract a lot of money and a lot of attention."

But Schwarzenegger faced a hurdle as a first-time candidate: establishing himself as more than a novelty candidate.

Amid the speculation about a Schwarzenegger candidacy, published reports alleged years of boorish behavior toward women and trouble in his marriage to NBC News reporter Maria Shriver. Several of Schwarzenegger's co-stars denied the allegations, and Eisenstadt declined to "dignify" the stories with a response.

Advertisement
Los Angeles Times Articles
|
|
|