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California Republicans

Former GOP Rep. Doug Ose considering run for governor of California

Doug Ose attends a fundraiser in the Tahoe City area during an unsuccessful 2008 campaign for Congress. (Robert Durell / Los Angeles Times)
Doug Ose attends a fundraiser in the Tahoe City area during an unsuccessful 2008 campaign for Congress. (Robert Durell / Los Angeles Times)

Former Republican Rep. Doug Ose said Tuesday that he is considering running for governor of California because of grave concerns about state's future.

“There’s no other way to describe it – we’ve gone backwards. I don’t care whether you’re talking about housing or quality of jobs that are available or road maintenance or the homeless question. There’s nobody in office today that’s doing anything about it,” Ose told the Times. “I’m tired of sitting on the sidelines watching these people take their salary and do nothing.”

Ose, a Sacramento-area resident and developer, served in Congress for six years and left in 2005 because of a self-imposed term limit pledge. He ran unsuccessfully to return to Congress in 2008 and 2014.

He said he does not have a timeline for when he expects to make a decision about the gubernatorial race, and said he is weighing several factors, including whether he wants to take a year off work to mount a campaign.

The 62-year-old said his wife and children are on board with him running.

“As my wife said, ‘You can be a real ... but you’re better than any of these donkeys,’ ” Ose said. “We’ve just got to work through this.”

If Ose decides to run, he would join a field of noteworthy candidates that includes four Democrats and two Republicans.

Ose demurred when asked about the GOP candidates in the race, Assemblyman Travis Allen of Huntington Beach and businessman John Cox.

“My decision doesn’t have anything to do with what they’re doing,” he said.

But Ose could position himself as a hybrid of the two Republican candidates — he has experience in elected office like Allen and he is a wealthy businessman like Cox.

A critical question is whether GOP voters will consolidate behind a candidate to avoid a repeat of the 2016 U.S. Senate race, when Republican voters splintered behind multiple candidates, resulting in two Democrats competing in the general election.

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