State treasurer pondering campaign for California governor

State Treasurer John Chiang
State Treasurer John Chiang
(Irfan Kahn / Los Angeles Times )

The race to replace Gov. Jerry Brown could get another candidate -- John Chiang, the state treasurer.

“I’m contemplating it,” Chiang said Wednesday when asked whether he would seek the governor’s office in 2018. “That’s a decision that will take a little while.”

Chiang was elected treasurer in November after serving eight years as state controller, giving him experience in California’s top financial positions.


“There’s exciting opportunities. We’ve made extraordinary progress,” he said. “And I want to make sure we continue to build on the financial opportunities, the economic opportunities that are available to Californians.”

Brown is prevented by term limits from running again in 2018.

Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, the former San Francisco mayor, has already announced his campaign to replace him. So far, Newsom has raised $5.5 million, which includes leftover funds from a previous campaign.

Chiang faced only token opposition in his treasurer campaign last year, and he has nearly $3.3 million socked away.

Other potential gubernatorial candidates include billionaire environmental activist Tom Steyer, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and Antonio Villaraigosa, Garcetti’s predecessor as mayor.

Follow @chrismegerian for more updates from Sacramento.