Former baseball star Steve Garvey is joining the race for U.S. Senate.
Once a Los Angeles Dodgers first baseman, Garvey made the announcement in a video on Tuesday, where the 74-year-old is leveraging his MVP status with baseball-themed messaging.
“I never played for Democrats or Republicans or independents. I played for all of you,” said Garvey, who played for the LA Dodgers and San Diego Padres from 1969 to 1987. “It’s going to be a commonsense campaign.”
Garvey is a Republican joining a crowded field for the seat long held by Dianne Feinstein. The race is dominated by Democrats, who have held the seat for 35 years. U.S. Rep. Adam Schiff is leading the field, followed by Rep. Katie Porter and Rep. Barbara Lee. Last week, Laphonza Butler, previously the president of Emily's List and a former adviser to Kamala Harris, was sworn in as Feinstein’s replacement. Butler has not said if she will also join the race.
Garvey’s campaign highlights six areas as part of his vision for the Senate seat. From education to homelessness to national security, his views are largely in alignment with Republican talking points on the national stage.
A quality education “is the single most powerful tool we can provide for the future generations,” he said on his site, the logo for which is a cartoon version of Garvey in a Dodgers uniform swinging a bat. He is advocating to empower parents with more choice and to reward teachers, as well as to return vocational training to the educational system.
He also cited the recent trend of Californians leaving the state because they can no longer afford it. He said he will “take a stand against out-of-control inflation and be a voice for the middle class and working families.” He also said high taxes and red tape have “made it impossible to start a small business and create jobs.”
Citing rising crime in the state, he pledged to hold criminals accountable and to deter crime by enforcing laws as part of his public safety platform. He also called for investments in modernizing the military and renewing U.S. commitments to its allies to improve national security.
Homelessness, he said, is California’s greatest failure. “We must get real about addressing the underlying causes of homelessness, including health and drug addiction.” Solving the problem will take “accountability and compassion.”
Being a Republican, Garvey is at a disadvantage in a state where two-thirds of voters are Democrats. GOP candidates failed to clear the state’s primary and make it to the November general election in the last two Senate races.
Republican attorney Eric Early, who unsuccessfully ran for California Attorney General in 2022 and 2018, is also running for the U.S. Senate seat held by Feinstein until her death two weeks ago.
California is one of more than a dozen states that will hold its primary on March 5, 2024. Under the state’s voting system, the two candidates who earn the must votes proceed to the general election, even if the two candidates are from the same political party.