Bill Simon Jr won the Republican nomination in the California governor race on Tuesday. It's the shocking political upset of the … of the week, anyway. Everyone, including President Bush, expected former Los Angeles mayor Richard Riordan to be the victor. The two men were former fellow parishioners, but ran very different campaigns: Simon took strong political stands while Riordan hemmed and hawed on his positions. There are countless articles this week rushing to explain who this newcomer is, but Christianity Today readers will be interested in these details. His father was Nixon and Ford Treasury Secretary William E. Simon, whose courageous stands posthumously earned him the Wilberforce Award from Charles Colson's Prison Fellowship Ministries. He's also one of the major financial backers of PAX-TV, and served as vice chairman of the family-friendly network. He also used to host a Sunday morning show on the network, "Sunday With Simon" (guests included Colson, VeggieTales head Phil Vischer, and Os Guinness). He's also the vice chairman of Catholic Charities of Los Angeles, chairman emeritus of the crisis shelter Covenant House of California, and served on the board of The Heritage Foundation and other organizations. Oh yeah, and he's a big-time lawyer, too. (Marvin Olasky profiled Simon in World magazine last November.)
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