Pasadena Patch | May 31, 2017
by Ashley Ludwig
With current Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom barred from running for re-election because of term limits and is running for governor, the 2018 Lieutenant Governor race is picking up steam.
Former U.S. Ambassador to Australia and Oakland, California resident Jeff Bleich announced his candidacy for lieutenant governor, promising "to help solve the tough problems facing hardworking Californians."
Bleich joins current candidates in the running that includes the former U.S. Ambassador to Hungary Eleni Tsakopoulos Kounalakis, two San Gabriel Valley residents, Dr. Asif Mahmood, a Pasadena-area pulmonologist, Senator Ed Hernandez, D-West Covina, all Democrats.
Earlier this year, Mahmood stated he would stand up to President Trump if elected.
“I’ll be a strong voice for all the people he is trying to silence,” Mahmood spoke outside the downtown Los Angeles office of immigration enforcement. “Let’s get tough on the right things. On hate, division, poverty and poor health care."
As for Bleich, he calls for a larger perspective for the office. "You don't do the politics of legislation every day," Bleich said in a video released by his campaign.
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 sufficient 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.