| US financial heavyweight Warren Buffet. (AFP)
San Francisco, Aug 14 (Reuters): Seeking to add muscle to his team, Arnold Schwarzenegger named financial heavyweight Warren Buffett his senior economic adviser today as the actor prepared a high-profile run for California governor.
Late in the day, state election officials certified a final list of 135 candidates after rejecting more than 100 applications as incomplete. The roster is the longest list of candidates to run for governor in state history.
Schwarzenegger was assured a place in the crowded field that ranged from serious politicians to pornographers.
Schwarzenegger received a boost with Buffett on board, pairing a movie star completely untested in politics with a Wall Street sage who is the world’s second richest man.
“Warren is helping me bring together a world-class team to assist me in addressing the problems and challenges facing businesses, investors and job creators in California,” Schwarzenegger said in a statement.
“Warren has a common sense approach to business issues and an integrity that is unmatched. That’s the same way I want to approach governing.”
Democrat Gray Davis, unpopular because of the state’s fiscal crisis, on October 7. faces the first recall vote against a California governor in the state’s history. Should voters recall Davis, Schwarzenegger, who is ahead in polls among alternate candidates, could take over the richest US state.
After a blast of publicity since first joining the race a week ago, the former bodybuilder and top box office draw has in recent days concentrated on putting together his campaign team. He also reported yesterday that he had contributed $1 million of his own money to his campaign.
Naming Berkshire Hathaway chairman Buffett, whose father served in Congress, could add gravitas to a campaign that has shown more Hollywood glitter than policy heft so far.
“I have known Arnold for years and know he’ll be a great governor,” said Buffett, one of America’s best-known and most respected investors. “It is critical to the rest of the nation that California’s economic crisis be solved, and I think Arnold will get that job done.”
Davis’ spokesman appeared surprised by the news. “I don’t think people are voting on advisers,” Peter Ragone said.
Schwarzenegger started his career in body building then received star billing in Hollywood as an action hero who could bring in hundreds of millions of dollars at the box office.