Tom Campbell to announce he's dropping out of California's gubernatorial race

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FILE - In this Sept. 16, 2009 file photo, California Finance Director Tom Campbell speaks during a panel discussion at Santa Clara University in Santa Clara, Calif. Former U.S. Rep. Campbell is skipping a forum for Republican gubernatorial candidates this week amid mounting speculation that he intends to quit the race.

Political bloggers hinted at it – but political reporters for the “San Jose Mercury News” have said it straight out: Former Congressman Tom Campbell plans to announce on Thursday in Los Angeles that he’s dropping out of the race for governor.

Campbell’s exit cuts the Republican field to two high-profile hopefuls: Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner and former eBay boss Meg Whitman.

His decision to quit the race seemed likely last week when the University of California, Berkeley, business professor issued not a word in response to Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger’s proposed state budget.

That’s not the way a candidate for governor acts.

But it might be appropriate behavior for a United States Senate candidate.

When he announces he’s quitting the race for governor, Campbell is expected to say he’ll run to be the GOP candidate for Barbara Boxer’s Senate seat.

Among the Republicans running, Campbell will be a moderate alternative to conservative Irvine Assemblyman Chuck Devore – with Washington experience to boot.

He’s from the Silicon Valley like former Hewlett Packard chief Carly Fiorina, but with a lot more political experience. Campbell will find out soon if that’s what California’s Republican voters want in the US Senate.

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