Kashkari rules out California Senate run

Neel Kashkari, California Republican, will not run for the U.S. Senate in 2016.

(CNN)A top California Republican says he's not planning on running for the California Senate seat up for grabs in 2016 following the retirement of Barbara Boxer.

Neel Kashkari, the man who won that state's GOP nomination for governor, and a presumed Republican frontrunner for the 2016 vacancy, has decided to stay on the sidelines.
Aaron McLear, an adviser to Kashkari, told CNN Friday evening the 2014 Republican gubernatorial nominee will not make a bid for the open Senate seat.
    While he lost handily to Gov. Jerry Brown in November, Kashkari, 41, a son of Indian immigrants, helped work towards redefining a stagnant California Republican Party that had been roundly dismissed as overly rich and overly white by the state's voters.
    Where the previous GOP nomination fight devolved into a vicious and toxic fight over immigration policy, Kashkari concentrated mostly on economic issues and, on the trail, struck an almost populist chord.
    A self-professed "social libertarian," Kashkari, routinely spent time talking about issue and populations he felt were ignored by the system: working families, children, the homeless.
    At a glance, Kashkari even seems a better fit in the Senate than in Sacramento.
    Kashkari ran the Troubled Asset Relief Program -- better know as the Wall Street Bailout -- and supporters insist he would do well navigating the Maginot lines etched across Constitution Ave.
    But while Kashkari called his ascendance to the upper echelon of California Republican politics a "transformational moment," his heavy investment in his previous campaign -- more than $3 million of his own money -- likely factored in his decision.