By JULIET WILLIAMS, Associated Press
Updated 10:28 pm, Wednesday, December 4, 2013
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Those who have heard of Neel Kashkari know him as the former U.S. Treasury official who was in charge of the bank bailout at the height of the recession.
Now the 40-year-old Ohio native and Orange County resident wants Californians to know him as a possible candidate for governor.
Kashkari, the son of Indian immigrants, is considering entering next year’s campaign as the third Republican challenger to Gov. Jerry Brown, who has raised $13 million for a re-election bid but has not formally announced he is running for another term.
Kashkari spoke to The Associated Press on Wednesday about why he is considering seeking the office and about his positions on a host of issues facing California.
A political neophyte who has never run for public office, Kashkari said he has a libertarian view of social issues. He supports gay marriage and abortion rights, for example, but opposes legalizing marijuana.
While he has not committed to a campaign, Kashkari is building a political platform based on improving the state’s economy, reducing California’s poverty rate and improving schools. He has spent the last several months in opposing worlds — meeting with the poor, many at homeless shelters, as well as the wealthy who could help him fund a campaign.
He called it shocking that in California, a state with a wealth of resources, 23 percent of people are living in poverty “and nobody is talking about it.”
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