LOS ANGELES - Former Dodger Steve Garvey is pondering a possible run for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Dianne Feinstein, it was reported Thursday.
Sources within the state Republican Party told the Los Angeles Times Garvey has been meeting with GOP donors and leaders to discuss the possibility of a run.
Republican strategist Andy Gharakhani told the paper he is advising Garvey, who has been contacted by leaders of both political parties about becoming a candidate, "and he's seriously considering it."
"We should have a decision made here in the next few weeks," Gharakhani told the paper.
If he were to jump into the race as a Republican, he would immediately become the most well-known GOP hopeful, despite his lack of any elective political experience. The field of announced candidates thus far is largely dominated by Democrats, most notably Reps. Adam Schiff, Katie Porter and Barbara Lee.
Garvey, 74, would also face an uphill challenge, since no Republican has won a statewide election in California since 2006. But as a former member of both the Dodgers and Padres, his name carries significant celebrity and recognition in two major portions of the state.
"He's a very well-known former athlete in California, and, assuming a strong and competent candidacy, I think he would absolutely have the opportunity to consolidate the Republican vote in the primary," GOP strategist Rob Stutzman told The Times.
The paper noted that Garvey went on record in 1981 saying he had been approached about running for Senate. He later attended the Republican National Convention and raised money for then-candidate George H.W. Bush.
In May, he attended a state Republican donor event in Rancho Mirage, and his potential candidacy was "openly discussed at the event," an attendee told The Times. Earlier this week, he took part in a fundraiser for Orange County Rep. Michelle Steel in Newport Beach.