A brief look at some of the candidates who have declared for the Oct. 7 election to succeed Gov. Gray Davis if he is recalled by voters:
Bustamante grew up in the 1950s among Fresno County farmworkers, but ended up picking politics over picking crops. The decision led him to the Capitol's highest offices and now a campaign to become governor of the nation's most populous state.
In a 20-year journey that led him from legislative staff jobs for San Joaquin Valley politicians to his current job of lieutenant governor, Bustamante, 50, has racked up several firsts. He's the state's first Hispanic elected speaker of the Assembly, first Hispanic elected to statewide office in more than 120 years and the first lieutenant governor re-elected with a governor of his own political party in 40 years.
Peter Miguel Camejo
During a political life that spans four decades, Camejo has gone from a Free Speech Movement firebrand and Socialist presidential candidate to the California Green Party's standard bearer. Although he has never held an elected office, as the Green gubernatorial candidate last fall he earned 5.3 percent of the vote.
Camejo, 63, makes a living as a consultant on socially responsible investing and is a reliable presence at anti-war and civil rights protests. He sees his candidacy as a chance to make sure that issues such as solar energy, corporate responsibility and the plight of the poor don't get left out of the debate.
Huffington, 53, was born in Greece, the daughter of an underground newspaper editor who was sent to a German concentration camp during World War II. She is an independent who graduated from Cambridge University with a degree in economics and became president of the famed debating society, the Cambridge Union.
Divorced from former congressman and U.S. Senate hopeful Michael Huffington, she has offered political commentary on various talk shows and in her syndicated column.
She also heads a nonprofit organization, The Detroit Project, that urges drivers to choose fuel efficient vehicles, and has written nine books, including a biography of Pablo Picasso and the New York Times best seller "Pigs at the Trough: How Corporate Greed and Political Corruption are Undermining America."
Thomas Miller McClintock
McClintock, 47, is a Republican state senator from Northridge who is best known for his efforts to eliminate the state's car tax, his support for more freeway construction and his opposition to what he sees as government waste.
First elected to the Assembly in 1982 at age 26, he lost a 1992 race for Congress and a 1994 bid for state controller. But he rebounded in 1996, winning an Assembly seat again, and then was elected to the Senate in 2000. Last year, he lost a close race for controller.
Despite the state's budget woes, McClintock says if he's elected governor he'll roll back the tripling of the car tax triggered by the Davis administration in May to help erase a $38.2 billion deficit.
McClintock says he'll also throw out $42 billion in overpriced electricity contracts negotiated by the Davis administration during the state's energy crisis and give the Legislature 30 days to enact an Arizona-style workers compensation system that he says would cut costs by two-thirds.
The Austrian-born "Terminator" star is making his first run for elected office after years as an action hero and bodybuilding champion.
A moderate Republican, Schwarzenegger has long been mentioned as a possible candidate, and last year made a trial run of sorts by successfully championing Proposition 49. The initiative was supposed to funnel up to $550 million a year to before- and after-school programs, but has received no state money to date because of California's budget deficit.
Schwarzenegger, 56, is married to journalist Maria Shriver, a Democrat and Kennedy relative. They live in Brentwood with their four children.
The eldest son of the late William E. Simon Sr., who was U.S. Treasury secretary under Presidents Nixon and Ford, Bill Simon made his first foray into politics last year when he ran for governor.
The social conservative was a virtual unknown, but he easily won the Republican primary as former Los Angeles Mayor Richard Riordan's campaign collapsed.
Simon's novice candidacy, however, was plagued by missteps, and he lost to Davis in November despite the governor's unpopularity. The margin was 5 percentage points. Simon is 52.
Peter V. Ueberroth
Peter V. Ueberroth, 65, was chief organizer of the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles and president of the Los Angeles Olympic Organizing Committee, which turned a profit of $225 million. He was later honored as Time magazine's Man of the Year.
Ueberroth's success with the Olympics helped him become the sixth commissioner of Major League Baseball, a position he held from 1984 to 1989. He later became part-owner of the Pebble Beach golf course.
Ueberroth has been managing director of the Contrarian Group investment and management company in Newport Beach for the past 13 years.
In 1992, he was named chairman of the Council on California Competitiveness, established by then-Gov. Pete Wilson to develop a strategy for economic growth and job creation.
In 1993, Ueberroth was named chairman of Rebuild L.A., a commission of business and community leaders that developed a strategy for rebuilding Los Angeles after the riots following the verdict in the Rodney King beating case.