March 4, 2021

Chamath Palihapitiya says he’s not running for California governor


Chamath Palihapitiya

Olivia Michael | CNBC

Tech investor Chamath Palihapitiya shut down speculation that he would run for California governor in the latest episode of the “All-In” podcast.

At one point during the podcast, investor David Sacks asked, “I have an idea, Chamath, how about you run for governor?”

After a digression, Chamath answered, “Let’s be really honest. I’m not ready to do any of that,” Palihapitiya said in the episode released early Wednesday ET. “What I need to do is, I need to figure out a) My business and where it’s going and b) I do think it’s worth figuring out what are the conflict of interest laws and what do you have to do if all of this were to come to pass.”

He added that he was particularly focused on a battery project and would not want to shut it down or withdraw from it in order to run.

Palihapitiya stoked speculation over the past few weeks whether or not he was running for office amid efforts to oust current Gov. Gavin Newsom. He even shared a campaign website created by a supporter, which seemed to indicate he was leaning toward running.

Palihapitiya said that Newsom, a Democrat, has done a poor job, and repeatedly pointed toward high taxes, crime rates and people leaving the state. He said that if he had made the choice to run, the most important issues would be school vouchers and cutting all personal taxes to zero.

“I do think that there’s something we need to do for people to be able to live,” Palihapitiya said.

— CNBC’s Ari Levy contributed to this report.

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