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Would You Vote for Rob Bonta as Governor? Californians May Get Their Chance



State AG Rob Bonta, right, tells The San Francisco Chronicle that he's pondering a bid to succeed Gov. Gavin Newsom in 2026. (AP File)
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Gov. Gavin Newsom won’t term out until 2026, but at least three Democrats already are eying gubernatorial runs.

Last month, Lt. Gov. Eleni Kounalakis and former state Controller Betty Yee announced that each wants to become the first woman to lead the Golden State.

And, it appears that state Attorney General Rob Bonta has designs on becoming the first Filipino American to serve as California governor.

Bonta told The San Francisco Chronicle’s Emily Hoeven on Friday that he is “seriously considering” a bid for the seat.

Bonta: Folks Encouraging Me to Run

“Quite a few folks have reached out to me encouraging me to run for governor,” Bonta said to Hoeven.

Hoeven also reported that Bonta said he was focused for now “on being attorney general” and a gubernatorial bid isn’t “something that I’m making a decision on today.”

Bonta became attorney general in April 2021 when Newsom appointed him to replace Xavier Becerra, who left to become U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services in the Biden administration.

Won Full Term As AG in November

Last November, Bonta, won an election to a full term as attorney general with 59% of the vote against Republican challenger Nathan Hochman, a former federal prosecutor.

Bonta previously served in the Assembly from 2012 to 2021. His wife, Mia Bonta, succeeded him in the East Bay seat.

As attorney general, Bonta has maintained a high profile on issues such as gun control, police reform, environmental justice, abortion access, homelessness, and LGBTQ equality.

Controversy Over Mia Bonta’s Role in Assembly

In February, Bonta became embroiled in conflict-of-interest accusations. That’s because his wife heads the Assembly Budget Subcommittee, which oversees public safety spending — including that of Bonta’s AG’s office.

While denying there was a conflict, Mia Bonta subsequently recused herself so that Californians, in her words, “have absolute confidence in the legislative process.”

Bill McEwen is news director and columnist for GV Wire. He joined GV Wire in August 2017 after 37 years at The Fresno Bee. With The Bee, he served as Opinion Editor, City Hall reporter, Metro columnist, sports columnist and sports editor through the years. His work has been frequently honored by the California Newspapers Publishers Association, including authoring first-place editorials in 2015 and 2016. Bill and his wife, Karen, are proud parents of two adult sons, and they have two grandsons. You can contact Bill at 559-492-4031 or at Send an Email

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