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Former Commissioner Poizner Announces Run as Independent; Race Begins to Take Shape

Tuesday, February 13, 2018  
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Bulletin 2017/18-69
February 13, 2018

Former Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner has announced that he is running to reclaim the Insurance Commissioner post he held as a Republican from 2007 to 2011, though this time Poizner will be running as an Independent. Since California switched to an open primary with the enactment of the Open Primary Act in 2011, the top two vote getters in the primary election will face off in the general election in November, regardless of their party designation.

According to the news site POLITICO, Poizner recently modified his stated party affiliation from Republican to “decline to state”.

Poizner made his mark as a tech entrepreneur whose company pioneered GPS for cell phones and was sold to Qualcomm. He has worked in both the public and private sectors and emphasizes the need to work free of partisan politics and be independent of the insurance industry.

On the Democratic side the leading candidate appears to be State Senator Ricardo Lara. Senator Lara has championed a single payer healthcare system for California during his tenure within the legislature. He also has served as the Chairman of the California Latino Caucus and the Vice Chair of the California Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Caucus. Two other former Democratic legislators, Susan Bonilla and Henry Perea, have also taken out papers, signaling intent to enter the race.

On the Republican side, Silicon Valley resident Peter Kuo, an immigrant who came to the United States at the age of 14, has announced that he is running. Kuo is a long-time insurance agent who has been active in the community, serving on non-profit boards. Kuo also started a marketing company that uses lenticular technology and that consults on bringing green tech to consumer electronics.

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