The former baseball player Steve Garvey announced on Tuesday that he would run as a Republican for the California Senate seat left open by Dianne Feinstein’s death.
Mr. Garvey, 74, was a first baseman for the Los Angeles Dodgers and the San Diego Padres from 1969 to 1987. He has never held elected office.
His campaign announcement video, filled with references to baseball and his career, opens with a voice-over of an announcer calling a home run and ends with Mr. Garvey declaring: “It’s time to get off the bench. It’s time to put the uniform on. It’s time to get back in the game.”
“I never played for Democrats or Republicans or independents. I played for all of you,” he says in the video. “Now I’m running for U.S. Senate in California, a state that I believe at one time was the heartbeat of America, but now is just a murmur.”
The positions outlined on Mr. Garvey’s campaign website are standard for Republican candidates, including a promise to “take a stand against out-of-control inflation,” a statement that “rising crime is destroying our communities” and a call for “more choices” for parents in terms of their children’s education. But he has broken from Republican orthodoxy on one issue, saying he would not support a federal abortion ban.
He told The Los Angeles Times that he had voted for Donald J. Trump in both 2016 and 2020.
Mr. Garvey will be running against at least three Democrats: Representatives Barbara Lee, Katie Porter and Adam Schiff. A poll released last month by The Los Angeles Times and the University of California, Berkeley, found that if Mr. Garvey entered the race, he would start in a distant third place, tied with Ms. Lee, but trailing Mr. Schiff and Ms. Porter by double digits. Laphonza Butler, the Democrat who was appointed to complete Ms. Feinstein’s term, has not said whether she will run next year.
“Based on his announcement, it sounds like he’s ready to take up the fight for everyone born on third base — thinking they hit a triple,” Mr. Schiff said on X on Tuesday.
California’s electoral system is unusual in that it does not have separate Democratic and Republican primaries; the top two candidates in the first round of voting, regardless of their affiliation, will advance to the November 2024 general election. That means the general election could feature two Democrats and no Republicans, an outcome well within the realm of possibility in a state as blue as California.
If Mr. Garvey did make it to the general election, he would face long odds. California has not elected a Republican to the Senate in more than 30 years.