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200 people want to be Calif.'s governor

LOS ANGELES, Aug. 1 (UPI) -- More than 200 Californians apparently are considering running for the California governor's seat.

The Los Angeles Times says 200 people have requested papers necessary to declare their candidacy before next Saturday's deadline. And so far about 50 possible candidates have paid the non-refundable $3,500 fee, raising the possibility of a ballot containing scores or even hundreds of names.

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The October recall election will decide whether Gov. Gray Davis will remain in office or be succeeded by someone else.

One possible candidate is Larry Flynt, the publisher of Hustler magazine, a registered Democrat and a self-described "staunch civil libertarian." The Times said Flynt paid his filing fee Wednesday and said he will consider spending a substantial amount of his own money if the public takes his run seriously.

Flynt told the newspaper: "California is the most progressive state in the union. I don't think anyone here will have a problem with a smut peddler as governor."

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