California gubernatorial candidate John Cox enlisted a real life bear to appear alongside him at campaign events and a television ad.

The 1,000 pound co-star is a trained animal from Steve Martin‘s Working Wildlife animal range and has quickly become a staples of Cox’s campaign. “I kissed the bear, actually,” Cox said when asked if the animal was being exploited. “It’s a very tame bear.”

Similar to California’s 2003 recall election, the state’s field of candidates is become crowded. Stand out candidates include Olympic gold medalist Caitlyn Jenner, former mayor of San Diego Kevnin Faulconer, former Sacramento congressman Doug Ose, and even possibly actor Randy Quaid, who said in an April statement that he is “seriously considering” running even though he is facing criminal charges for felony vandalism, unauthorized entry into a dwelling, obstructing police and failing to appear in court while out on bail.

California’s requirements to enter special gubernatorial elections are remarkably slim, often making them a spectacle. Candidates need only collect 7,000 signatures from Californians, in a state with 39.5 million residents, and pay a fee of $4,000 to formally join the race. Candidates are allowed to enter the race as late as 59 days before ballots are cast.

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