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Last Updated: Saturday, 2 August, 2003, 01:29 GMT 02:29 UK
California governor race hots up
Arnold Schwarzenegger at the T3 UK premiere
Schwarzenegger has yet to decide whether to enter the race
Arnold Schwarzenegger may face some unusual competition should he decide to run for governor in the US state of California.

Alongside a former mayor of Los Angeles, a congressman and a businessman, several porn stars and a porn magazine mogul are also said to be planning to enter the race.

The October vote will see California's electorate deciding whether to oust current governor Gray Davis and, if he is ejected, who his successor would be.

Mr Schwarzenegger is said to be still undecided, however Larry Flynt, the flamboyant publisher of the pornography magazine Hustler, is one of more than 200 people who have taken nomination forms to apply for the race.

"I don't think they would have a problem having a smut peddler who cares as governor," said the publisher, who has been in a wheelchair since a failed attempt on his life several years ago.

"I think I can do a better job of balancing the budget than those pinhead bureaucrats up in Sacramento (the state's capital)."

Economic problems

Porn film star Mary Carey says part of her platform is a plan to tax breast implants.

We are becoming a laughing stock
California Democratic party chairman Art Torres
"We've had Brown, we've tried Gray. Now it is time for some blonde," she said, referring to the beleaguered Mr Davis and former governor Edmund "Jerry" Brown.

Meanwhile Angelyne, a voluptuous blonde model whose billboards can be seen all over the city of Los Angeles, has adopted the slogan "think rational pink" and says she plans to campaign for honesty in politics.

"Entertainment is a lot harder than politics," Angelyne told Reuters news agency.

"Entertainment is a matter of emotion and ego and politics is a matter of basic rational mathematics."

However the more unusual political hopefuls are causing concern amongst the state's politicians.

"We are becoming a laughing stock," California Democratic party chairman Art Torres said.

"This just exacerbates the impression that we are a bunch of wackos out here."

Regardless of who eventually gets the job, the golden state's new governor faces an uphill task.

The state is running a record $38bn deficit and faces a severe economic recession.

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