In the wake of news that my future congressional representative may be someone with sound fiscal awareness, and since I am nothing if not optimistic, I took a glace at the status of the California governor’s race today.

This race pits our state’s longest serving governor, Jerry Brown, against the Republican Neel Kashkari, who served as Assistant U.S. Secretary of the Treasury for Financial Stability.

Kashkari is one of those rare candidates I like more as the campaign season progresses. In part, it is because he has been innovative on the campaign trail. Cal Watchdog’s James Poulos has this assessment.

… Rather than offering the media a retread of tales of California Republicans’ past, Kashkari has presented a surprising spectacle. Wealthy political novices from business backgrounds, such as Carly Fiorina and Meg Whitman, have tried to unseat top-tier Democrats before. They failed — leading national political journalists to question why the state GOP was willing to tolerate such a bad investment.

Kashkari, who is not personally short on cash, has raised a far more modest campaign chest. But his small budget has become a buzz-building advantage. Not only has it fueled the kind of stunt-driven campaigning that grabs headlines, it has given state Republicans a feeling that neither donors nor the party have thrown good money after bad. And it has changed the media narrative, differentiating Kashkari from the political losers who have come before him.

Unhappily for the rest of the country, most of my fellow citizens are not as impressed. Real Clear Politics has the snapshot of the race I provided above, indicating the polls have budged little since I last covered the topic:

LI #11 Governor's Race

Poulos speculates that Kashkari isn’t really running to win, but laying the ground for another election cycle when he will go after the US Senate seat currently occupied by Barbara Boxer.

About the only good news from California I can offer is that Boxer may be poised to retire.

Sen. Barbara Boxer says she has yet to make up her mind about seeking a fifth term in 2016, but there’s no shortage of signs that the Democrat may be opting out.

It’s not just that she has less than $200,000 in her campaign account, compared with $3.5 million at this stage before her last election fight. Some comments from those who know the 73-year-old senator are also telling.

“She is not running for re-election,” said one longtime Democratic fundraiser with deep ties to Boxer, who spoke only on background.

Despite the fact that Boxer, noted for this performance, is one of the least popular of our state’s politicians, she still managed to win her 2010 election bid by a 10 point margin.

And the ghost of that defeat, Carly Fiorina, is using the current Ebola crisis to position herself for a redo in the future:

Carly Fiorina is ruling out a return to California to run again for the U.S. Senate, but she’s not ruling out a future White House bid — and it’s clear she hasn’t given up campaigning for issues she cares about.

…Fiorina says the Ebola crisis in West Africa is such a disaster. “Our goal is to encourage corporations to step up — and they will, when they have a mechanism” to get their goods to areas in need, she said Monday in an interview with The Chronicle.

It appears that in California, perpetual optimism is not limited to political pundits like myself.

In terms of California Tea Party activism, especially in light of numbers for the for the gubernatorial race, the main thrust is on the Propositions. Dawn Wildman, a coordinator for the state’s Tea Party groups, noted that the Republican Party is pushing “yes” on Propositions 1 and 2.

“Our groups are saying NO to both,” explained Wildman. “The first is putting Californians into bond-age with another pork-filled bond measure, and the second takes away control of revenues from our communities.”

Wildman offers a California Tea Party voter’s guide to the propositions. “We hope Californians don’t give up on our state because of the candidate poll numbers, but show up and vote this November on issues that directly impact them and their families.”

[Featured Image Source: NPR]