A Woodland Hills, Calif., diagnostic radiologist, is among the nearly 200 candidates seeking to replace California Gov. Gray Davis should the two-term Democrat be recalled in an Oct. 7 special election.
Ronald Friedman, M.D., a partner in two San Fernando Valley practices, filed the necessary documents to run in the recall election, spokesperson Raleigh Joffe says.
Friedman is running as an Independent on the platform of returning governing power to average citizens.
"I just saw it as an opportunity to try to show people we need to get involved in the government," says Friedman. "The politicians look at the electorate as a rubber stamp for whatever the Democratic or Republican parties are pushing."
Friedman says he considers himself to be a serious candidate, not a "clown," as some California Democratic leaders have labeled the scores of candidates lining up to challenge Davis. "I'm not in it for a lark," Friedman says.
Friedman is inviting other Los Angeles-area candidates to join him in pledging to run a clean campaign. He also is offering a "Citizen's Platform Plank" in his office for staff and visitors to post concerns they have about the future of California government.
"We are trying to enhance citizen awareness of government and government responsiveness to its citizens," Friedman says.
As a physician, Friedman is advocating wider access to healthcare across the state, but that is not the centerpiece of his campaign.
"I think I'll be in a good position to answer questions about healthcare," he says. "I'm not running on a healthcare platform."
Friedman runs Wellness West-focusing on wellness and preventive care-with another radiologist, Gail Schlesinger, M.D., and also is a partner in Medical Diagnostic Associates, a three-physician radiology practice in Woodland Hills.
California Secretary of State Kevin Shelley reports on his Web site that 193 individuals met Saturday's deadline to file papers to run in the special election. Of those, 89 applications were complete and 104 were under review as of late Sunday afternoon.