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Republican Doug Ose Drops Out Of California Governor's Race

Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio

Gubernatorial candidate and former Congressman Doug Ose

Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio

There’s now one fewer Republican in the California governor’s race.

Former Sacramento-area Congressman Doug Ose's departure Monday could change the dynamics of the entire campaign.

Ose says he simply couldn’t raise enough money to be viable — in large part because donors in the normally Republican-leaning business community think their money would be better spent on a moderate Democrat.

“That’s the direction many, many, many businesses are going,” Ose says. “Exactly that calculus.”

Ose raised roughly $130,000 in about a month-and-a-half — with more than half of it coming from himself and family members.

“I had enough money to get up and down the state and look at stuff,” he says. “But it’s really clear to me that the donor community on the Republican side is not opening their checkbooks. They don’t think there’s a chance” that a GOP candidate could win the governor’s race.

Ose’s departure could create a domino effect that influences which two candidates advance from the June 5 primary to the November general election.

There are now five prominent Democrats in the governor’s race — but just two Republicans: San Diego businessman John Cox and Orange County Assemblyman Travis Allen.

Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom has long been the frontrunner. The other Democrats — former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, Treasurer John Chiang, former state schools chief Delaine Eastin and new entrant Amanda Renteria, who was Hillary Clinton’s 2016 political director — may well be vying for second place, along with Cox and Allen.

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