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Will Becerra Run for Governor? He Tours UCSF Fresno With Costa
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By David Taub, Senior Reporter
Published 1 month ago on
May 20, 2024
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Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra, at podium, didn't tip his hand as to whether he would run for California governor in 2026 during a visit to UCSF Fresno, Monday, May 20, 20204. (GV Wire/David Taub)

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U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra is rumored to be a candidate for California governor in 2026. During a visit to Fresno on Monday, he didn’t tip his hand.

“What I can say there is I am thrilled that the president gave me a chance to be Secretary of the Health and Human Services,” Becerra said in response to a question from GV Wire. “It’s not something everyone gets to do. Only 24 others have had a chance to do it. I’m going to do it as well as I can. And then, chatting with the boss, I’ll see what I do after that.”

Politico reported on a rumor last month that Becerra may leave the Biden administration to return to state politics.

Becerra served one term in the state Assembly (1990-92), before winning 13 terms in Congress. He returned to California, when then-Gov. Jerry Brown selected Becerra to become state Attorney General in 2017, succeeding Kamala Harris — who was elected as a U.S. Senator. Becerra won re-election in 2018.

Biden chose Becerra to lead his health policy in 2021.

When introducing Becerra to the media at an event at UCSF Fresno, Rep. Jim Costa, D-Fresno, alluded to Becerra’s possible aspirations.

“You’re building up a hell of a resume. Don’t stop,” Costa said.

If Becerra returns to state politics, he has $1.5 million in an active Becerra for Superintendent of Public Instruction 2030 account. Most of that money was transferred from his Becerra for Attorney General 2022 account. That money could be transferred to another state campaign.

Lt. Governor Eleni Kounalakis, State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond, and former state Senate Pro-Tem Toni Atkins announced plans to run for governor in 2026. State Attorney General Rob Bonta — who succeeded Becerra as AG — is considering running as well.

Becerra in Fresno

On Saturday, Becerra delivered the keynote address at the Fresno State Chicano/Latino Commencement.

He returned to town on Monday, touring the UCSF medical training program with Costa. He advocated for a proposed medical school at UC Merced.

Becerra highlighted the need for medical professionals in the Central Valley. California Health Sciences University, a medical school based in Clovis, held its graduation ceremony last weekend.

(Disclosure: GV Wire Publisher Darius Assemi is one of the founders of the privately funded CHSU in Clovis.

Becerra called the new future doctors “indispensable.” He said the graduating classes of the future are even more important than those who matriculated over the weekend.

“It is our responsibility to give (future medical students) the belief that even though they don’t have much income, even though most people look at them and say, you’re not who we expect to be the next doctor, that they will become the future physicians, the future nurses of our country, because we need folks, especially home-grown folks from the Valley, to believe that they’re going to be the people who care for these families,” Becerra said.

Costa introduced legislation that would create grant programs to help medical schools in areas of high need and a bill to address the national nursing shortage.

 

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David Taub,
Senior Reporter
Curiosity drives David Taub. The award-winning journalist might be shy, but feels mighty with a recorder in his hand. He doesn't see it his job to "hold public officials accountable," but does see it to provide readers (and voters) the information needed to make intelligent choices. Taub has been honored with several writing awards from the California News Publishers Association. He's just happy to have his stories read. Joining GV Wire in 2016, Taub covers politics, government and elections, mainly in the Fresno/Clovis area. He also writes columns about local eateries (Appetite for Fresno), pro wrestling (Off the Bottom Rope), and media (Media Man). Prior to joining the online news source, Taub worked as a radio producer for KMJ and PowerTalk 96.7 in Fresno. He also worked as an assignment editor for KCOY-TV in Santa Maria, California, and KSEE-TV in Fresno. He has also worked behind the scenes for several sports broadcasts, including the NCAA basketball tournament, and the Super Bowl. When not spending time with his family, Taub loves to officially score Fresno Grizzlies games. Growing up in the San Francisco Bay Area, Taub is a die-hard Giants and 49ers fan. He graduated from the University of Michigan with dual degrees in communications and political science. Go Blue! You can contact David at 559-492-4037 or at Send an Email

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