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Silicon Valley venture capitalist Sam Altman says he's considering a run for California governor in 2018

 (Drew Angerer / Getty Images)
(Drew Angerer / Getty Images)

Sam Altman, a Silicon Valley venture capitalist, is considering a run for governor.

Altman, 32, is the president of Y Combinator, a start-up technology incubator that has invested in companies such as Airbnb, Dropbox and Stripe. When he was 19, he co-founded a social media app that later sold for $43 million.

"As I've said before, I am actively seeking out California governor candidates, because I think we desperately need to address the cost of living, especially housing and broader economic inequality in this state,” Altman said in a statement. “Some people I've talked to have urged me to run. I of course love California, but that would be a huge decision, and one I'd have to really think about. I really love my current job — I honestly think it's one of the best jobs in the tech world."

The San Francisco resident is a registered Democrat, according to his spokeswoman. Earlier this year, he traveled the country interviewing voters who supported President Trump.

The possible run came to light after former San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown wrote in the San Francisco Chronicle on Saturday that Altman sought his advice on a potential gubernatorial bid.

Although self-funders have not had a great deal of luck in California politics — billionaire Meg Whitman launched an unsuccessful 2010 gubernatorial bid, on which she spent $144 million of her own money — the entry of a candidate who is able to fund his or her own campaign would immediately jolt the 2018 race.

Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, state Treasurer John Chiang and former state schools chief Delaine Eastin are the Democrats who are running to replace Gov. Jerry Brown, who is termed out. Rancho Santa Fe venture capitalist John Cox, a Republican, is also running. Other candidates are also eyeing the field.

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