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Blank-Check Dealmaker Eyes a Political Prize That Eluded Many Rich Peers

  • Billionaires have had little luck in bids to run California
  • After launching website, investor has been coy about plans
Chamath Palihapitiya
Chamath Palihapitiya

Photographer: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg

Billionaire venture capitalist Chamath Palihapitiya’s potential bid to unseat California Governor Gavin Newsom would likely face long odds given that the political novice would be pursuing a prize that has eluded many a wealthy Californian.

In a tweet this week, Palihapitiya, a former Facebook Inc. executive and serial blank-check dealmaker, suggested he was backing the effort to recall Newsom and hinted he might like the governor’s mansion for himself. He launched a website, “Chamath for California Governor,” that included a few policy proposals, including a call for cutting all state taxes and raising salaries for public school teachers.

Palihapitiya declined to confirm a bid for governor in a Wednesday interview on CNBC, and didn’t respond to emails seeking additional comment.