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Action film star Arnold Schwarzenegger has ruled out a bid for California governor in 2002, but if a group of five Republican governors have their way -- he'll be back. The governors had breakfast with Schwarzenegger in Beverly Hills on Wednesday, telling the Austrian-born superstar they understood his decision not to challenge California Gov. Gray Davis next year but encouraged him to keep his political ambitions alive for the future. "My sense is that he's decided this is not the time for him," Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Ridge said. "But I encouraged him to keep the possibility of public office open."
Schwarzenegger, 53, ended speculation about a possible run for the California governorship when he said last month that his film career and young children would have to take precedence over politics until "some other time." Political analysts say the former bodybuilder and "Terminator" star's instant name recognition, good looks and sizable personal fortune could offer Republicans their best shot at unseating incumbent Democrat Davis. Republicans say Davis' political star is on the wane as he struggles to overcome California's ongoing energy crisis. But Ridge said the politicians, who were in town for a Republican Governors Association meeting, accepted that Schwarzenegger has other obligations -- including work on "Terminator III" -- and did not try to change his mind. I was going to arm wrestle him over it, but I decided not to because I need both of mine," Ridge joked.
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