Steve Garvey announces bid for California U.S. Senate seat

Field Level Media

October 10, 2023 at 6:07 pm.

Former MLB All-Star Steve Garvey is running for the U.S. Senate in the 2024 election, bidding to win the California seat previously held by the late Dianne Feinstein.

Garvey, a 74-year-old Republican, has never held elected office but has name recognition in the state. He spent his entire 19-year baseball career in California, first with the Los Angeles Dodgers and then the San Diego Padres.

“I played in front of millions of fans. I never played for Democrats or Republicans or independents — I played for all of you,” Garvey said in his campaign video. “Now I’m running for U.S. Senate in California, a state that I believe at one time was the heartbeat of America and now is just a murmur.”

Once a reliably Republican state, California has turned blue over the past generation. The state has not elected a Republican to the U.S. Senate since Pete Wilson won re-election in 1988.

A number of Democrats have already entered the field in an attempt to succeed Feinstein, who died last month at age 90. California has a nonpartisan primary, and the top two finishers, no matter what party they represent, advance to the general election.

“Our campaign is focused on quality-of-life issues, public safety and education,” Garvey said in a statement. “As a U.S. senator, I will serve with common sense, compassion, and will work to build consensus to benefit all of the people of California.”

Californians have voted for Republican candidates from outside the political realm before. Arnold Schwarzenegger, a bodybuilder turned actor, served as governor from 2003-11. Another former actor, Ronald Reagan, was governor from 1967-75.

Garvey won the National League Most Valuable Player award in 1974 and led the Dodgers to the World Series title in 1981.