Potential gubernatorial candidate to tour state

The Associated Press
Tuesday May 01, 2001

SACRAMENTO — After keeping a low profile since announcing he may run for governor, Los Angeles investment banker William E. Simon Jr. will make his first campaign-style appearances Tuesday. 

Aides said Simon is scheduled to make two private tours of natural gas generation plants near Bakersfield, highlighting the energy crisis issue that has hampered Democratic incumbent Gov. Gray Davis. 

Later in May, Simon aides said the first-time candidate may meet with high-tech executives in Silicon Valley, school children in Los Angeles and farmers in Fresno. Despite his plans to make several campaign-type appearances, Simon’s aides said he has not decided whether he will actually run for governor. Simon formed an exploratory committee in March. 

“All signs are certainly pointing toward him proceeding with the campaign,’ said spokesman Jeff Flint. “This is part of the exploratory process.” 

Simon is the son of William E. Simon, who was treasury secretary during the Ford administration. Before starting an investment banking firm with his father in 1988, Simon was an assistant U.S. attorney in New York. 

Secretary of State Bill Jones has already announced he’s seeking the Republican nomination for governor, while actor Arnold Schwarzenegger announced last week he will not run for governor. 

Davis has no announced Democratic opposition.