Hollywood star Arnold Schwarzenegger is adding his name to the list of candidates hoping to replace California Governor Grey Davis. More announcements are expected before Saturday's filing deadline for candidates in the recall election.
Saying he wants to "clean up" Sacramento, the actor announced his candidacy during a taping of the nationally-televised Tonight Show.
California voters will decide, October 7, if they want to remove their Democrat governor. If a majority of the people vote to oust him, he will be replaced by the top-polling candidate on a list of possible successors.
Mr. Schwarzenegger - a Republican - had political exposure, last year, when he supported a successful ballot measure to increase after-school programs for children.
He says the needs of children and of families will be priorities. "We want to make sure our children have their books, that they have their place in the classroom. We want to make sure that our schools have after-school programs," he said. "We want to make sure that their mothers have affordable day care."
More than 300 people have requested the paperwork needed to declare their candidacy. The forms must be filed with state officials be Saturday.
The state's most-popular Democrat, Senator Dianne Feinstein says she will not enter the race. She is urging a "no" vote on the recall. However, the latest polls suggest a slight majority of Californians would like to see Grey Davis out of office.
A July poll indicated Arnold Schwarzenegger had the support of 15 percent of the voters. Another Republican Former Los Angeles Mayor Richard Riordan led the candidates, with 21 percent. Green Party candidate Peter Camejo who polled eight percent in the survey, says the Schwarzenegger announcement changes the equation. The actor and the former mayor are friends. Each has said he will run, if the other does not.
"The main thing this does is to possibly mean that Riordan is not running. [He] was the strongest Republican candidate and, therefore, it means there will be the chance of many Republicans running," says Mr. Camejo. "Therefore, it also increases the possibility a Democrat may enter the race, now that [he] see[s] a higher probability of being able to win."
The Green Party hopes all of this could result in his opening an alliance with another candidate liberal commentator Arianna Huffington.