Baseball legend Steve Garvey, once known as “Mr. Clean” for his wholesome image and clutch batting for the Los Angeles Dodgers, is making a play for Washington. The former first baseman, who had a storied career in the 1970s and 1980s, is now diving into the bloodbath that is California politics. Garvey, who has been a staple in the state since the early days of his professional baseball career, is running as a Republican for California’s open U.S. Senate seat.
But can his star power translate into political success? With Democrats dominating the state’s political scene, Garvey faces an uphill battle. The last time a Republican won a statewide office in California was in 2006 when Arnold Schwarzenegger was elected for a second term as governor. However, with a recent POLITICO | Morning Consult poll putting Garvey at a surprising 19 percent, he may have a shot at making it to the November runoff.
On the campaign trail, Garvey’s charm and charisma are still evident. He is constantly recognized and stopped for autographs and handshakes by fans who have grown up watching him play for the Dodgers and the San Diego Padres. But Garvey’s political platform lacks specificity, as he speaks in broad terms about middle-class families, empowering parents and students, and addressing California’s high cost of living and public safety concerns.
Garvey’s lack of political experience is evident, as he struggles to answer questions about specific policies and plans. But his status as a political outsider is a draw for some Californians who are fed up with career politicians and the current state of the country. However, his moderate stance and refusal to commit to a third vote for former President Donald Trump may not endear him to the more conservative base.
It’s clear that Garvey’s celebrity status is the driving force behind his political campaign. He has been approached about entering the political scene before but never took the plunge until this year. Garvey claims that he was motivated to run after seeing the “ridiculous discourse” in today’s political climate. However, his lack of specific policies and plans may not be enough to sway Democratic voters or even moderate Republicans.
Seeing LA’s Skid Row and the work of the Alpha Project in San Diego, I’ve witnessed California’s fight against homelessness. Tackling root causes like mental health and drug addiction is crucial. Let’s address this crisis with compassion and action. pic.twitter.com/gK2NLo38RG
— Steve Garvey (@SteveyGarvey6) January 17, 2024
One major question surrounding Garvey’s candidacy is his stance on former President Donald Trump. While he voted for Trump in the past two elections, Garvey remains undecided about 2024 and does not commit to accepting an endorsement. He insists that he is playing for all Californians, regardless of their political beliefs.
Garvey’s background is not without its controversies, which may also impact his appeal to voters. After leaving the league, he faced a string of scandals including a messy divorce and a custody battle involving children from multiple relationships. He has also faced financial struggles, which may not sit well with voters who are looking for a candidate with a clean record and strong financial stability.
— Steve Garvey (@SteveyGarvey6) January 19, 2024
As Garvey’s campaign gains momentum, he faces the challenge of standing out among the three formidable Democratic candidates, all of whom have decades of experience in politics. Garvey’s lack of specific plans and reluctance to dive deep into the issues may hinder his chances. Still, his supporters believe that his fresh perspective and ability to connect with people make him a strong contender.