Sunne McPeak denies gubernatorial ambitions

Sunne Wright McPeak

Sunne Wright McPeak

My esteemed colleague and fellow political writer Carla Marinucci at the San Francisco Chronicle blogged yesterday that former Contra Costa County Supervisor Sunne Wright McPeak is rumored to be a potential 2010 Democratic gubernatorial candidate.

While McPeak’s credentials for such an undertaking are numerous, the Pleasanton resident told me last night that “if I ever decided to take leave of my mind and do something like that, I’ll come see you for counseling.” (To all the professional counselors out there, no need to worry. I never charge for my services.)

As you may recall, McPeak left her post as chief of the Bay Area Council to serve as state Secretary for Business, Transportation and Housing under Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. She left to take a job as CEO and president of the California Emerging Technology Fund, an organization charged with spending $60 million in seed cash to close the digital divide in California. The Fund launches its public education campaign today.  (Click here to see my story about the fund.)

McPeak has remained largely quiet about her experience as one of Schwarzenegger’s cabinet members but sources close to her say the highly goal-oriented leader was beyond frustrated with how Sacramento’s hyper-politicized environment impeded progress on multiple levels.

The suggestion that McPeak, who hasn’t held public office in decades, would undertake a campaign for arguably the most politically charged jobs in California sounds nuts.

On the other hand, McPeak has been heavily involved in a group called California Forward. It’s a bipartisan organization calling for the reform of California’s Constitution as a way to solve the state’s massive structural fiscal problems.

In conjunction with legislative reforms, some folks are even talking about forming a third political party that would emphasize results over ideology.

With McPeak’s business background, socially liberal politics and her well-known interest in results over dogma, it’s not hard to see why her name has surfaced as a gubernatorial candidate. The bigger question is whether or not McPeak is interested in reentering politics.

Lisa Vorderbrueggen

  • Sunne Wright McPeak would be a formidable candidate for Governor. I agree with your analysis that Sunne is goal oriented without the political dogma in Sacramento.

    Sunne gave her best shot at trying to change the bureaucracy and red tape at BTH and I believe she made some headway; but for someone who is impatient with stalling tactics, she opted for the quasi-private sector.

    Could Sunne do the job as Governor? Absolutely! But as your column stated, she’s not yet seeking ‘counseling’.

  • John W

    Where do I sign? The current choices in both parties leave me with the feeling of, “is this really the best that the largest state has to offer?”

  • Retired Water Buffalo

    In my 30 years of working sometimes against and other times together left me with great admiration for Sunne. She would be great and the best person head and shoulders above any other supposed candidates. Also my many years has left me why would anybody want this job.

  • freakofthefarright

    Run sunne! You need to get back in the game!

  • Sunne would make a marvelous governor. She has high intelligence, communication skills, is goal oriented and can work across party lines. And she suffers fools with good humor! She has an abundance of common sense and enormous capacity and energy. I do wish she’d seek counseling and decide to do it. I’d walk precincts!

    Helen M. Thomson
    Yolo County Supervisor

  • Sunny would be an excellent governor. I have had a chance to work with her and I found her to have an enormous energy and she is extremely creative. I find Mrs. McPeak to be serious in her intent though with a sense of humor. She is a personable lady, who gives a great deal of her time and energy to her career. She relates well with others, and takes time to listen and be helpful. These attributes are indicative of characteristics of an excellent governor of any state who believes in listening and analyzing the needs of people.She truly cares about education. She believes the only true salvation of the state of California is to invest in our education and to teach the the 21st century skills to our young students so that when they enter the workforce of the future they will be ready.

    I hope she decides to run.

    Bijan Gillani

  • Art V.

    I hope Sunne would never become Governor. I met her once and I found her to be loud and quite full of herself.