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Running to Save California

Posted by: Cameron Cushman on May 17, 2010 Source: Policy Dialogue on Entrepreneurship

The race is on in California. Voters from the state that boasts the eighth largest economy in the world will go to the polls in November to decide who will succeed the embattled Governator Arnold Schwarzenegger. Though California’s financial problems have been well-documented, two candidates with backgrounds in entrepreneurial startups are running to replace Schwarzenegger.

Steve Poizner is currently the state’s Insurance Commissioner, but his bio begins with calling himself a successful entrepreneur who has started two companies. His second company, SnapTrack, sold to Qualcomm for $1billion almost a decade ago. Poizner has made several attempts at running for higher office before, but has so far been unsuccessful.

Running against Mr. Poizner in the June 8 primary is Meg Whitman, the widely celebrated former head of eBay. Whitman led eBay through the dot-com boom and bust and grew this once tiny internet startup into an $8 billion company that employed over 15,000 employees. Whitman was also repeatedly mentioned by presidential candidate John McCain in 2008 as someone that he admired for her ability to create jobs and run a successful high-growth company. She was even rumored to be on the short list of vice presidential candidates.

The winner will, most likely, earn the right to face former Governor and current Attorney General Jerry Brown in the general election in November. Brown, a lawyer by trade, is a career politician, who has pursued the presidential nomination three times.

In the home of Silicon Valley, will voters elect one of the true job creators to bring back the Golden State?

Category:  Digesting DC 

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