Former eBay chief executive Meg Whitman officially submitted her bid to explore a run for governor on Monday.
The move by the billionaire businesswoman sets up what's expected to be an expensive, 17-month auction between herself and Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner in the 2010 Republican primary.
"California faces challenges unlike any other time in its history -- a weak and faltering economy, massive job losses, and an exploding state budget deficit. California is better than this, and I refuse to stand by and watch it fail," Whitman said in a prepared statement, announcing her exploration of a run for governor. "Now is the time for people across the state to join in a cause for change, excellence and a new California."
Whitman, 52, first stepped onto the political stage in last year's presidential campaign, initially as a fundraiser to GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney, then as a senior adviser to Republican nominee John McCain.
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