State Treasurer John Chiang said Monday he is “very interested” in running for governor in 2018 and will decide early next year whether to launch a campaign.
Chiang, who served two terms as state controller before being elected treasurer in 2o14, is the latest in a number of prominent Democrats who have announced their intention to run for governor or are at least considering the job. Those include Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, hedge-fund founder and billionaire Tom Steyer and Steve Westly, a Silicon Valley entrepreneur and former state controller.
Chiang, 53, a former gratis norsk IRS tax attorney and member of the state Board of Equalization, made the comment about his future political plans in response to a question following a briefing in his office.
The son of Taiwan immigrants, Chiang was born in New York City and grew up in Chicago. Chiang, an attorney, has a law degree from Georgetown University.
At Carl Sandburg High School in Chicago, Chiang — pronounced “Chung” — was vice president of the student body, while the president at the time was Dave Jones, now California’s elected insurance commissioner and a candidate in 2018 for state attorney general. The two have remained friends over the years.
Incumbent Gov. Jerry Brown, 77, also a Democrat, is in the midst of his fourth term. He served two terms from 1975 to 1983 before voter-approved term limits went into effect, and then was elected to a third term in 2010. He was reelected last year.