HHS Secretary Becerra reportedly discussing making a run for California governor in 2026

 April 11, 2024

President Joe Biden's administration could possibly soon lose a key member of its Cabinet. 

According to Politico, Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra is considering running for governor's mansion in California, where he was once the state's attorney general.

Sources reported that Becerra has had conversations with "Democratic officials and operatives" about leaving the administration after the election, which may happen anyway if Biden fails to win reelection.

The California gubernatorial race is in November 2026.

What's going on?

Politico reported that those familiar with Becerra's career ambitions were granted anonymity to discuss what's happening, noting that conversations about the potential run have become "more serious" in recent weeks.

Notably, the secretary and former California AG parked $1.55 million in a "committee for Superintendent of Public Instruction in 2030" that would be usable in the 2026 gubernatorial race.

At a recent event in San Francisco about the state of healthcare in the United States, Becerra dropped a hint about his fondness of returning to California.

"I miss California," he told the audience, and later reportedly smiled and nodded when someone shouted "Governor!"

The 2026 California governor's race is already sporting a crowded field, and could become much more so over the next year.

Pressed on his intentions

After the recent event at which he spoke, Politico asked Becerra if he was considering a run -- a question he largely sidestepped from.

"It’s a blessing to hear that someone is saying that I’m running for governor because I don’t know who they are,” Becerra said.

He added, "I am secretary of HHS and, by law, I have to be secretary of HHS and nothing else. So I’m gonna do my job as best I can. It’s a thrill, I think my mom would be happy to hear that someone thinks I can run for governor as well."

Becerra has had his fair share of ups and downs within the ranks of Biden's administration, especially on the subject of taking care of illegal migrant children coming across the border. However, he has spent the past several months as a surrogate for the president in discussing healthcare issues across the country ahead of the November election.

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