Is Chuck DeVore Laying the Groundwork for a 2010 Run for Governor?

I confess that I am enjoying the teeth gnashing and hang wringing my conservative friends are doing in light of the Governor’s recent tilt to the left and his support of healthcare of all children in California – legal and illegal. The quandary the Republicans face is they hate paying for services for undocumented workers and their families but they are beholden to so many big business interests who want the cheap labor. Rounding up undocumented workers is very popular with this group of government officials, but posing actual fines against employers who hire “illegals” is a blue-moon event.

I’ve been monitoring the coverage of the Republican criticism of the governor’s proposal. The most vocal point person is easily Irvine’s State Ass. Chuck DeVore. After the program was proposed, Chuck was denouncing it in TV; he had a Flash Report blog post and a similar op ed piece in the OC Register. This was followed up by posts about the governor breaking his no new taxes pledge. Chuck’s PR skills show in his very telegenic appearance, promoting this appearance, and in being a confrontational Republican voice with detailed criticism of the governor’s proposals.

As I have mentioned before on this blog, Chuck is literally a neighbor of mine; our oldest kids attend the same high school together, though I don’t think they know each other. I find him a smart guy who does his homework. We just disagree on a number of issues politically.

As I watched Chuck’s media blitz and read his work, I’ve had an epiphany.

I think Chuck is positioning himself to run for the Republican nomination for governor in 2008. Here’s my rationale on why he’d be an outstanding Republican candidate:


  • Chuck is the current Republican minority whip in the Assembly so he already has a leadership role with GOP Legislators now.


  • Chuck, I believe, if termed out of the Assembly by 2010 (open to corrections on this point)


  • Chuck is a political reporter’s dream; he used his PR skills and gets a lot of coverage for himself in a variety of media from the papers editorial pages to Blogs to talk radio and TV. He’s telegenic enough for TV, quippy enough for talk radio, and analytical enough for print. Plus, he has all the conservative credentials Tom McClintock has but has something Tom lacks – a personality.


  • He is a loyal conservative Republican who rarely strays from the playbook and does not believe in compromise with Democrats on any issue.


  • He’s loaded with cash from his last assembly race where he spent only $1,100 but wrote checks to other Republican candidates; he’d benefit from donations from IEs from the Lincoln Club, New Majority and GenNext while of course criticizing IEs from his opponent.


  • He has worn the uniform as part of the National Guard and that will play well to the pro-military crowd and he was an executive in the defense industry, so he understands that side of the house. He also has a strong grasp of the Region’s role in the Pacific Rim and understands the geo-Political nature of the Far East.


  • He has the Reagan Pixie Dust having worked as an official at the Pentagon during the Reagan years (would that be staffer, junior official or low level official because I can see any serious responsibilities be given someone in their 20s); and he has the requisite family photo of him, his wife and child with the Gipper for all to see.


  • Chuck has a charming wife and family; if anything, they are the anti-Schwartzenegger/Shrivers while still a model OC GOP family.


  • If he doesn’t run in 2010, he’s a viable Republican option for the next 20-25 years.

    Why Chuck wouldn’t win:


  • The last conservative Governor of California served more than 30 years ago; subsequent Republican governors were moderates


  • Chuck is a Red Politician in a very Blue State at the time when the wave for progressives is rising and growing more powerful.


  • It’s rare for a conservative Republican to win a statewide race. 

    1. Dan. You are absolutely correct in your assessment of OC candidates winning statewide office. The last one to do it was Kenneth Cory who was either Controller or Treasurer. And much to GOP dismay, Ken was a Dem.

    2. Dan, congratulations, you got me to read my first full post on!

      What are you doing for the next few years? I may need a strategic advisor for this statewide project I have in mind…

      All the best,

      Chuck DeVore

    3. Two corrections(not clarifications, as right wing media might note, but corrections).

      1. My son and Chuck’s daughter do not go to the same high school; she and her sibs are home schooled. Chuck likes the program and so to the kis, but I bet prom night will suck.

      2. I honestly believed I was using appropriate AP style in referring to Chuck as “state ass. Chuck DeVore.” Per my 26 year old tome, the three letter abbr. only works for Gov. Sen. or Rep. “Assemblyman” or “Assemblywoman” needs to be completely written out. So I will instead stick with “state rep. Chuck DeVore” to be stylistically and politically correct and to stop everyone from chuckling at the unfortunate series of letters that make up “Assemblyman.”

    4. Honest error, Dan. Too hard on yourself. They did attend junior high together and would have gone to the same high school had we decided not to avail ourselves of the Pacific Coast HS program run by the County Department of Ed.


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