Actor-director Rob Reiner has decided against a run for California governor that could have pitted him against Arnold Schwarzenegger next year, an aide said Wednesday night.
"He gave it serious consideration; he had a number of conversations with his family," said Ben Austin. "He is not going to run for governor next year."
The New York-born Reiner, 58, director of films including When Harry Met Sally... and This is Spinal Tap, and a costar of the 1970s hit TV series All in the Family (in which his character's nickname was "Meathead"), has taken an increasingly high profile in California politics as the sponsor of a June 2006 ballot initiative to guarantee preschooling for 4-year-olds.
Austin, the campaign manager for the initiative, said Democrat Reiner decided to bow out of the race because he had young children and wanted to focus on the preschool issue.
Some believe liberal actor Warren Beatty could also pose a strong challenge to Republican former action film star Schwarzenegger next year. Beatty has said he does not want to run, although he has not entirely ruled out such an effort.
The California Republican Assembly, a conservative Republican group that recently expressed unhappiness with Schwarzenegger, has set up a Web site encouraging actor Mel Gibson to run.