Former U.S. ambassador to Australia and Obama counsel plans to run for California lieutenant governor

Los Angeles Times | May 3, 2017
by Phil Willon

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Bay Area attorney Jeff Bleich, former U.S. ambassador to Australia and special counsel to President Obama, plans to run for California lieutenant governor.

Bleich, a Democrat, has formed a campaign committee and is expected to launch an official bid sometime this month. Bleich, in a statement on a campaign fundraising website, said government leaders have failed to address California's changing economy and the impact it has had on the workforce.

"We’re going to have to educate our kids differently, empower workers with new opportunities, and stop doing things that don’t work," he stated. "We can’t count on politics as usual to get us there, or to protect our shores from climate change, safeguard our homes from cyber-crime, enable communities to fight the epidemic of addiction, or unite a polarized nation."

As a partner in the Dentons law firm, he specializes in public policy and regulation. He served as chairman of the California State University Board of Trustees from 2008 to 2009. He joins a growing field of Democrats who have entered the race, including West Covina state Sen. Ed Hernandez, former U.S. ambassador to Hungary Eleni Kounalakis and Los Angeles physician Asif Mahmood.