(KTXL) — Author, independent journalist, and climate and environmental activist Michael Shellenberger has announced he is running for California governor.
In an exclusive interview with Inside California Politics co-host Nikki Laurenzo, the 50-year-old Bay Area resident said he will run as an Independent challenging Gov. Gavin Newsom.
“This state has so much potential and it is just not living up to it,” Shellenberger said. “It would be my honor to be governor of California and help it realize its potential.”
The author of “San Fransicko” and “Apocalypse Never” has never held political office before, but this isn’t his first bid for California governor. In 2018, Shellenberger ran as a Democrat and came in ninth in the primary election.
Shellenberger said he made the decision to run as no party preference because he “genuinely” doesn’t have one.
“In fact, I’m pretty fed up with the parties,” he told Inside California Politics. “I love this state, I see it from all points of view, and I really think I can bring it together.”
Shellenberger’s announcement comes just a day before the candidate filing deadline.
The only other notable name to challenge Newsom is Republican State Sen. Brian Dahle, R-Bieber. He has stayed mostly quiet since announcing his bid.
Many of the major recall candidates, including radio personality Larry Elder and California Assemblyman Kevin Kiley, R-Rocklin, decided against another run for the state’s highest office. As of Thursday afternoon, former San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer had yet to announce his decision.
Shellenberger advocated for the recall of Gov. Newsom and endorsed Faulconer in that race.
A candidate running as no party preference has never won statewide office in California.
In September of last year, Newsom received overwhelming support from voters in the recall election and currently has a $25 million campaign war chest.