SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS)—Former lieutenant governor Abel Maldonado, a republican from Santa Maria, formed a campaign committee on Thursday—which allows him to raise money for the 2014 gubernatorial election, challenging Gov. Jerry Brown.

His decision to explore a possible run may speak more about the Republicans than it does about Gov. Brown, who is 75. If Brown were to pass in the next few years, Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom would become governor. Maldonado may be getting in the race early to be halfway in should such an event present itself.

Maldonado, a moderate, lost a congressional race last year. Appointed by Arnold Schwarzenegger as lieutenant governor in 2009, he was not seen as a team player by Republicans and Democrats considered him a threat.

State Republicans are in crisis with GOP registration in the state currently at 29 percent; they are in debt and poorly organized. So Maldonado’s exploration to enter the race is largely a freelance operation. He’s a man on his own.

It is a long shot but if Brown doesn’t finish the first term, then he would have a chance against Newsom — it could be an interesting race. If Brown does run, then they will say that he is too old.

Brown, 75, is expected to run for another term, but he has not formally announced his intentions.

You can hear Phil Matier’s comments Monday through Friday at 7:50am and 5:50pm on KCBS All News 740AM and 106.9FM.

(Copyright 2013 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)


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