2003 all over again? Mary Carey, the former porn star, officially running to replace Gov. Newsom

Liz Kreutz Image
ByLiz Kreutz KGO logo
Tuesday, April 13, 2021
Mary Carey, the former porn star, officially running for CA governor
The recall to replace Governor Gavin Newsom hasn't even qualified but there are already some candidates throwing their names into the ring including the former porn star, Mary Carey.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- The recall to replace Governor Gavin Newsom hasn't even qualified and yet already parts of it are turning into a repeat of the 2003 recall election of Gray Davis. Back then, the race famously became more like a circus with 135 candidates jumping into the race to replace Davis, including 23-year-old porn star Mary Carey, who admitted she ran at the time as a publicity stunt.

Now, 18 years later, Carey is no longer an adult film star and said she's ready to focus on politics. She told ABC7 News she is officially running for California governor.

"Last time, I was young, dumb and full of fun," Carey, 40, said in an interview Monday afternoon. "And this time I'm more experienced and I am not going to take this position laying down. I am ready to be on top."

Carey -- who came in 10th place in 2003 -- already has a website, t-shirts and even a working slogan ("Finally a politician you want to be screwed by!" she says with a wink). But it's hard to say if this time around people will take her any more seriously.

WATCH: Total Recalled: The story of America's wildest, largest governor recall election

Still, her announcement underscores what a wild election year could be in store for California. Celebrity activist and former Olympic athlete Caitlyn Jenner is reportedly mulling a run. And according to LA Magazine, so is model Angelyne, who also ran in 2003. "First of all there was Brown, then there was Gray, I think we need some pink," she would say at the time.

Part of the reason so many candidates jumped into the race in 2003 -- and could do so again now -- is that the barrier to entry is relatively low. According to the California Secretary of State's office, a person who wants to run for governor must gather at least 65 signatures and pay a filing fee of $3,916.12 (it was around $3,500 in 2003).

Carey, who will be running as a "no party preference candidate," said she decided to announce her campaign before the recall qualified so that she can start gathering the signatures. She said her primary policy focus will be on solving the state's homelessness crisis and helping businesses impacted by covid. She also hopes to resurrect her "Porn for Pistols" policy platform from 2003, which she says could help reduce gun violence by giving people free porn in exhange for turning in their guns.

RELATED: Gray Davis, Cruz Bustamante, Mary Carey 'the porn star': 2003 CA governor recall election candidates weigh in on Gavin Newsom effort

Carey first told ABC7 News she was mulling another run for governor last month when she was interviewed for our new documentary, "Total Recalled: The story of America's wildest, largest recall election." Since then, her husband, who she married in 2018, has been helping her form her campaign.

So, what's next? She says once the recall officially qualifies she will travel to Sacramento to formally register. After that, she plans to embark on a tour of strip clubs across the state.