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Placer County railroad worker on track as candidate for California governor post

Third try for Auburn’s Bill Chambers as he runs as underdog against GOP heavyweights
By: Gus Thomson, Journal Staff Writer
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There are bigger names and other candidates getting the media limelight as front-runners in the race for gubernatorial Republican candidate. But Auburn railroad switchman Bill Chambers has them all beat in terms of election experience. Chambers has filed initial campaign papers with the state and said he’ll be running for governor for a third time. Chambers is one of several prospective office-holders or incumbents who have filed initial paperwork or already taken the plunge and declared themselves candidates for the June 8 primary. Chambers also ran for governor in the 2003 recall special election and the 2006 primary election, both times losing to Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger – and each time by a very wide margin. In 2006, Schwarzenegger polled 1.72 million votes to Chambers’ 64,487. This time around, with Schwarzenegger not running again, Chambers is a little-known-but-seasoned candidate facing well-funded Republican heavyweights Steve Poizner, the state insurance commissioner, and former eBay CEO Meg Whitman. Chambers does note that he finished third overall in the 2006 Republican primary for GOP gubernatorial candidate and second in Placer County. But he also adds that there were just four candidates. Chambers will be running on a three-tiered platform – less taxes, less spending and less government. “We need to restore responsibility and accountability to Sacramento,” he said. And Chambers is already lobbing some verbal grenades at his two more-moneyed opponents. “I’m running against two billionaires,” Chambers said.”I’ve noticed they’ve already started their own little cat fight. It’s behavior that’s not becoming to the office.” Placer County candidates and potential candidates will have a chance to learn more about the election process and what could be in store for them at a free workshop Thursday. A panel of speakers will share their knowledge and experience. The group will include Jim McCauley, county clerk-recorder-registrar of voters – who is up for reelection in June. The workshop will be held from 6 p.m. to about 9 p.m. Thursday at the Elections Division, 2956 Richardson Drive. Candidates are starting to file. Assessor Kristen Spears turned in her papers Tuesday. McCauley, county schools chief Gayle Garbolino-Mojica, Assistant District Attorney Scott Owens (a declared D.A. candidate to replace Brad Fenocchio), and Assemblyman Ted Gaines, R-Roseville, have taken out the paperwork needed to file. The candidate filing period for the June 8 primary opened Tuesday and closes March 12. The elections division is also seeking poll workers. As well as individuals – who would be paid from $170 for the day’s work as an inspector to $85 for clerks – groups are being encouraged to sign up to raise funds. Earnings for groups could be up to $750, depending on the type of polling place and attendance, a release from the county states. Those interested in becoming poll workers can call Lora Lashly at 530-886-5667 or visit the Web site placerelections.com for more information.