Former U.S. Ambassador to Australia Jeff Bleich announced his candidacy for lieutenant governor Tuesday, promising “to help solve the tough problems facing hardworking Californians.”
“My feeling about lieutenant governor is it gives you the chance to have a bigger perspective,” Bleich said in a video released by his campaign. “You don’t do the politics of legislation every day.
People are worried about what happens when technology takes away whole segments of our jobs. Technology is going to shorten the amount of time our skill level is sufficent for us to do a job. We’re going to have to be educated very differently then we’ve been educated up until now.”
Bleich is a partner in the public policy and regulation practice of the global law firm Dentons. He was ambassador to Australia from 2009-2013 after serving as special counsel to then-President Barack Obama from March to September 2009.
Bleich was chair of the California State University Board of Trustees from 2008-09, president of the California State Bar from 2007-08 and director of the White House Commission on Youth Violence from 1998-99.
Bleich was also involved in the efforts to overturn the “don’t ask, don’t tell” law that barred gays and lesbians from serving in the military if they acknowledged their sexual orientation; Proposition 187, the 1994 ballot measure that barred people living in this country without legal permission from most emergency government services; and Proposition 209, the 1996 ballot measure that barred race-based preferences in college admissions and government contracting.
Bleich joins a field that also includes Sen. Ed Hernandez, D-West Covina, former U.S. Ambassador to Hungary Eleni Tsakopoulos Kounalakis and Dr. Asif Mahmood, a Pasadena-area pulmonologist, all Democrats, in the race to succeed Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, who is barred from running for re-election because of term limits and is running for governor.