California’s Lockyer Says He Won’t Run Again for Office

California Treasurer Bill Lockyer, who runs the bond financing and banking office of the largest U.S. municipal borrower, said he won’t run again for elective office when his term ends in 2015.

Lockyer, a 72-year-old Democrat, has overseen the sale of about $49 billion of general-obligation bonds since he took office in 2007, spokesman Tom Dresslar said. Dresslar said California plans to sell more than $5.6 billion of the securities this year, the most since 2010.

“I want to do something new and different,” Lockyer said today in an interview. “I’ve been in state government since 1973 as an elected official -- 18 legislative races, eight statewide campaigns, attorney general for eight years, treasurer for eight years. So I just need a new challenge.”

“I don’t know what that is,” he added. “I’ve got a year and a half to figure it out.”

Lockyer was one of six people who had filed to run for controller in 2014. He had $2.2 million in a campaign fund for that office as of Dec. 31 and about $230,000 left in his 2010 campaign fund for treasurer at the same date. Lockyer has been undefeated in 40 years as an assemblyman, senator, attorney general and treasurer.

Lockyer said he isn’t endorsing anyone for controller. He said he expected the field to widen, with “people who deferred, anticipating my candidacy, who will now think about it,” Lockyer said.

Biggest Vote

He received 5.43 million votes in 2010, more than California Governor Jerry Brown or any other elected state official in the U.S., according to the secretary of state’s office. The same year, his wife, Nadia Lockyer, was elected to the Alameda County Board of Supervisors with more than $1 million in campaign financing support from her husband.

Nadia Lockyer, 42, resigned in 2012 after reports began to spill out in the state’s newspapers about an extramarital affair, an alleged sex tape and drug abuse. The former Orange County lawyer was arrested on charges of methamphetamine possession, a felony, and neglect of the couple’s son, Diego, who was with her.

In July, the treasurer filed for divorce in Alameda County Superior Court, according to court records. He has withdrawn that petition, Dresslar said.

‘Family Considerations’

“Family considerations are always a factor,” Lockyer said when asked how his personal life shaped his decision to abandon his campaign for controller.

As attorney general, Lockyer had considered challenging then-Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger in 2006 before deciding instead to seek his first term as treasurer. He said in a 2005 statement that he didn’t want to have to endure the politics and fundraising involved in a bid for governor of the most populous U.S. state.

In 2012, he expressed interest in serving as the chancellor of the California State University system, the nation’s largest, to oversee 23 campuses and almost 437,000 students. Timothy P. White was selected for the job.

(Updates with Lockyer’s comments on controller campaign starting in sixth paragraph.)
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