David Mendez

David Hadley considering run in 2018 governor race

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66th district assembly candidate David Hadley speaking at a candidates forum in Hermosa Beach. Photo by Caroline Anderson

David Hadley speaking at a candidates forum in Hermosa Beach. File photo

by David Mendez

Former State Assemblyman David Hadley has formed an exploratory committee to run for the Governor’s seat in 2018. This makes him the first Republican challenger with elected experience vying for the seat that will be vacated by termed-out Governor Jerry Brown.

“I continue to care deeply about the future of this state — I grew up in California, lived most of my adult life and raised my kids here,” Hadley said when asked what spurred his exploration.

He noted that his concerns are wide-ranging, from the state’s environmental goals to pension debts to housing prices. “The 2018 governor’s race is a rare opportunity to sketch out a vision for what California can be and have the whole state participate in it,” Hadley said.

A one-term Assemblyman who represented the South Bay in the 66th Assembly District, Hadley edged incumbent Al Muratsuchi in 2014 by a 0.6 percent margin. He cites the experience from that stint, alongside the founding an investment banking firm, among his leadership bona fides.

“I’ve advised hundreds of companies…I understand why they invest in California, why they don’t, and why businesses and jobs are fleeing the state,” Hadley said. “I have a basic understanding of math, and basic math shows the budgetary trajectory that California is on is unsustainable.”

However, Hadley was defeated in November by Muratsuchi by nearly 10 percentage points following a contentious campaign. The race was marked by pointed mailers in which Muratsuchi was accused of protecting sex offenders, and Hadley was accused of being aligned with eventual President Donald Trump.

It was also a costly campaign for Hadley; according to filings with the Secretary of State, Hadley spent more that $2.5 million in 2016; in the same time period, his contributions totaled at $1.87 million.

“It’s no fun to lose an election. When I look at many of the people who have served our state our country well, there’s rarely an uninterrupted stream of victories. People win elections and people lose elections,” Hadley said. “I’m proud of the fact that, of all Republicans in the state assembly in my term, I represented the most Democratic district.”

The former Assemblyman is the second South Bay resident to consider candidacy in 2018. State Treasurer John Chiang, a Torrance resident, announced his intentions in September.

Hadley said that he is not committed to running, but he expects to make a final decision in the next 45 to 60 days.

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