LOS ANGELES (AP) — Another Republican has joined the race to succeed California Sen. Barbara Boxer.
Ron Unz, a previous candidate for governor who two years ago pushed a proposal to boost the state’s minimum wage, said Wednesday he filed paperwork in Santa Clara County to enter a race in which the leading candidate is state Attorney General Kamala Harris.
He acknowledges he’s unlikely to win.
Unz, 54, said in a telephone interview that his primary reason for running is to bring attention to an effort to repeal Proposition 227 — a ballot proposal he championed in 1998 that dismantled California’s bilingual education system.
It abolished most bilingual programs for students who speak little, if any, English and replaced them with English-only instruction.
“It turned out to be enormously successful,” the theoretical-physicist-turned-software-developer said. He called the effort to repeal it absurd.
Unz joins a field that also includes Republicans George “Duf” Sundheim and Tom Del Beccaro and Democratic congresswoman Loretta Sanchez.
Democrats are strongly favored to hold the seat. Candidates in the June primary are competing for one of two spots in the November election. Under California’s unusual rules, only the top two vote-getters advance to the general election.
Unz, a former publisher of The American Conservative magazine, has a history of against-the-grain political activism. As a 32-year-old, he tried to unseat then-Gov. Pete Wilson, a fellow Republican. He also ran, briefly, for U.S. Senate.
Unz founded Wall Street Analytics Inc., which was acquired by Moody’s Corp. in 2006.
He predicted he had a chance of making it into the November election, but just a chance. “I’m not Arnold Schwarzenegger,” he said, referring to the former actor turned governor.