LOS ANGELES — Amanda Renteria, a former top campaign aide to Hillary Clinton, has filed paperwork to run for governor of California.
The unexpected filing, which came without any announcement, puzzled many Democrats in a state where a large field of higher profile Democrats have been running — and raising millions of dollars — for more than a year.
Renteria, who ran unsuccessfully for a U.S. House seat in California’s Central Valley in 2014, has worked most recently as an aide to California Attorney General Xavier Becerra. She did not respond to a request for comment, and following news of her filing Wednesday, she wrote on Twitter, “For questions coming in right now: I am still serving as the Chief of Operations at the California Department of Justice.”
But within hours Becerra told the Los Angeles Times that Renteria was stepping down from her post to run for governor.
“I wish her a great deal of luck. I obviously hired her because I knew she was pretty capable,” Becerra told The Times.
Renteria, a former aide to Sens. Dianne Feinstein and Debbie Stabenow, was beaten badly in her bid to unseat Rep. David Valadao [R-Calif.] in 2014. She comes to the gubernatorial race long after other major candidates began fundraising, debating and securing endorsements in the contest.
The field of Democrats bidding to succeed Gov. Jerry Brown includes Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, state Treasurer John Chiang and former state schools chief Delaine Eastin.