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Gary Coleman on California ballot

Gary Coleman's campaign treasurer says his name
Gary Coleman's campaign treasurer says his name "resonates with the voters."

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(CNN) -- Gary Coleman, child star of the sitcom "Diff'rent Strokes," has placed his name among a host of other celebrities in the running for California governor.

Coleman's candidacy was engineered by the East Bay Express, an Oakland-area newspaper, which paid his $3,500 filing fee, collected the necessary petition signatures and is promoting his candidacy in protest of the scheduled vote aimed at recalling Gov. Gray Davis.

Coleman's campaign treasurer, Steve Buel, editor of the East Bay Express, told CNN that the actor's name "resonates with the voters."

Buel said he had no trouble getting the necessary 65 petition signatures from Independent voters in Alameda County, which he gathered at a recent Oakland A's baseball game.

The Alameda County Registrar of Voters confirmed Wednesday that a representative for Coleman filed the necessary petition signatures and paid the required fee at the courthouse in Oakland, California. He registered as an Independent.

California voters will decide October 7 whether to recall Gov. Gray Davis, a Democrat, and who should replace him.

"I thought (the recall) was a joke. They thought it was a joke. And I thought, hey, why not," Coleman, 35, told CNN. "I'm probably the least qualified for the job, but I'll have some great people around me."

"It's true that there is a farcical quality to the entire recall effort. But Gary's candidacy is no more farcical than that of Arnold Schwarzenegger, or Arianna Huffington, or the comedian Gallagher," Buel said.

Schwarzenegger, Huffington and Gallagher have all announced they will seek to replace Gov. Davis.

Schwarzenegger's announcement came at a Wednesday afternoon taping of NBC's "The Tonight Show" with Jay Leno.

Coleman, speaking shortly after film star Arnold Schwarzenegger announced he was running for governor, predicted that Schwarzenegger would win -- and Coleman said he would vote for the "Terminator."

"Now that Arnold is in the race, there is no race. Gray Davis needs to pack his bags," he said. "I'm going to stay in the race, but I'm not going to campaign."

On Diff'rent Strokes from 1978 to 1986, Coleman played Arnold Drummond, who, along with his brother, Willis (played by Todd Bridges), was adopted by a wealthy man after their mother, the man's maid, died.

His trademark retort, "Whatchu talkin' 'bout," became a well-known catch phrase.


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