A stampede of candidates is expected in the coming week to run for California governor in the October seventh recall election.
That appears to be make it harder for Democratic leaders to keep their forces corralled as non-candidates who support embattled governor Gray Davis.
Moderate Republican and former Los Angeles Mayor Richard Riordan appears increasingly likely to run for governor in the election to pick a successor if the voters remove Davis.
Democratic consultant Darry Sragow notes Riordan has previously campaigned statewide in his unsuccessful bid for the Republican gubernatorial nomination last year and has a base in the largest media market in the state. Therefore Democrats have a reason to have a stong Democrat on the ballot in case Davis loses.
Riordan is assembling a campaign team. He has said he would consider running if actor Arnold Schwarzenegger does not. Political advisers for Schrwarzenegger have said he is leaning against running and will announce his decision Wednesday.
Candidates must file by a week from today. There are signs Democratic unity to not have a well-known candidate may be crumbling. U.S. Senator Boxer said yesterday she is strongly opposed to the recall. But she left her options open for encouraging a Democrat to run as a potential replacement for Davis.
A recent Field Poll showed former LA mayor Riordan the strongest potential candidate among non-Democrats. He was the first choice of 21 percent of those who responded to the poll. Schwarzenegger was next at 15 percent and last-fallÂ´s unsuccessful Republican nominee for governor Bill Simon had 12 percent support.