Los Angeles Dodgers legend Steve Garvey officially launched his bid for the U.S. Senate. The 74-year-old former All-Star will run as a Republican, marking his first swing at elected office.
"It’s going to be a common sense, compassionate, consensus-building campaign," Garvey said in an interview with KTVU.
Garvey has never held elected office, but his entry into the race could give state Republicans a big name to get behind.
Although Garvey has never held elected office, his entry into the race could provide California Republicans with a well-known figure to support.
He stated his priorities are education, crime, and the economy.
"Let’s start to de-regulate," said Garvey. "Let's start to take the wraps off areas of our economy and allow our economy to grow and thrive."
Garvey faces an uphill climb, given that registered Republicans are outnumbered two to one by Democrats and haven't won statewide office since 2006.
Garvey said he voted for former President Trump in both of his presidential campaigns but has not endorsed a candidate for this election.
Garvey, a Catholic who personally opposes abortion, made it clear that he respects the wishes of California voters.
"I’m against a federal abortion ban," said Garvey. "As a representative, our sole responsibility is the voice of the people and the voice of the people has spoken in California."
Political science professor at Sonoma State University David McCuan anticipates that Garvey will position himself as a centrist break into deep blue California.
"As Mr. Clean develops his political chops, the question will be how vanilla can he be when he’s on a listening tour with California voters," said McCuan. "That listening tour is often one of moderation."
During his playing career, Garvey earned the nickname "Mr. Clean" due to his abstinence from alcohol and drugs.
Meanwhile, Democrats Adam Schiff, Katie Porter, and Barbara Lee continue to dominate the race. A Berkeley IGS poll, released before Garvey officially entered the race, showed that approximately 7% of likely voters would support him.
Still, McCuan said if Garvey can coalesce Republican voters in the state, he could shake up the top-two primary.
"You should start to see elbows being thrown here, between Schiff and Porter," said McCuan. "That’ll be an interesting development to watch."
Both Schiff and Lee were quick to criticize Garvey's candidacy on social media. Lee referred to him as, "an inexperienced, pro-Trump, anti-choice Republican who refuses to call out clear threats to our democracy."
Schiff said, "It sounds like he's ready to take up the fight for everyone born on third base - thinking they hit a triple."
In response, Garvey stated, "Don’t mistake my kindness for weakness. Anyone who’s done that to me in the past has realized, I do stand up and virtue and morals and character win in the end."
His first campaign ad leans heavily into his baseball past.
He revealed to KTVU that it was some San Francisco Giants fans who solidified his decision to run.
"When Giants fans came up to me and said ‘I hate the Dodgers, but I’ll vote for you,'" said Garvey. "That’s the ultimate compliment for a Dodger."