Neel Kashkari is running for governor of California. He spent last week homeless.


Republican candidate for governor Neel Kashkari. (Steve Yeater/AP)

Neel Kashkari is the Republican underdog challenging Gov. Jerry Brown (D). Last week, he was a homeless guy in Fresno.

In an effort to draw attention to his long-shot bid, Kashkari took a bus from Los Angeles to Fresno with 40 dollars in his pockets in search of a job. His point was to show that the "California Comeback" touted by Brown and other Democrats has fallen short in many areas where people are unable to find work. Brown touted the state's budget surplus in his state of the state address this year.

"Over the next seven days, I walked mile after mile in 100-degree heat searching for a job. I offered to do anything: wash dishes, sweep floors, pack boxes, cook meals, anything," Kashkari writes in a Wall Street Journal op-ed published Thursday. "I went to dozens of businesses in search of work but wasn't able to get any. In seven days, I didn't see a single 'Help Wanted' sign, but I did see plenty of signs that fast-food outlets now accept food stamps."

Kashkari documented his experience in a 10-minute video he posted online.

Kashkari, 41, is a former Bush administration Treasury official. Polls show Brown up comfortably over the Republican.

Brown campaign spokesman Dan Newman called Kashkari's trip to Fresno a “bizarre campaign stunt” and said it was hard to reconcile it with the $700 billion TARP bank bailout program he helped deploy at Treasury, according to the Los Angeles Daily News.

Sean Sullivan has covered national politics for The Washington Post since 2012.

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