“I don’t know how anyone could sit idly by right now and watch what’s unfolding around us and not ask themselves, ‘What more can I do to help?’” Hefner, 28, told HuffPost by email a day ahead of his announcement.
“I believe California and the United States need new leaders with bold and innovative ideas to step forward and participate in manifesting a government that works more effectively and smarter,” he added. “I have the experience, leadership, and creativity to help in that pursuit.”
Hefner said he’ll campaign for the 30th District seat currently held by Democrat Holly Mitchell, who is running for Los Angeles supervisor in this year’s election. The district includes part of LA.
Hefner, a businessman who is the son of Hefner and model Kimberley Conrad, worked at Playboy Enterprises before stepping away in 2019. He held jobs as a consultant, head of chief global partnerships, adviser to the CEO, and was the magazine’s chief creative officer for nearly three years. He’s currently a member of the U.S. Air Force Reserves and a German Marshall Fund of the United States fellow.
Over the past few years, he’s become involved in political causes, hosting a fundraiser for then-presidential candidate Kamala Harris in 2019 and making donations to the campaigns of Harris, Pete Buttigeg and Joe Biden.
Hefner said he wants to focus on “solving for the inequalities of the present.”
“COVID exacerbated issues California and the country have had for quite some time,” he said. “These were issues that were often ignored or just managed poorly. Right now, our government needs to be bold, engaged, and acting to deliver compelling solutions to serious problems like the housing crisis. Rent and mortgage relief action should occur immediately.”