Randy Quaid's criminal history: Inside actor's legal woes, arrests and fraud charges amid California governor run

Actor says he is 'seriously considering' an attempt to replace Gavin Newsom, and the internet cannot stop making fun of California

                            Randy Quaid's criminal history: Inside actor's legal woes, arrests and fraud charges amid California governor run
Randy Quaid is planning to run for California governor (@randy.quaid.evi.quaid via Instagram)

The race to replace Gavin Newsom just got weirder. Actor Randy Quaid, best known for 'The Last Detail', has announced he is "seriously considering" a run for Governor of California. The surprise announcement was made by Quaid on Twitter on April 27.

The actor tweeted, "I’m seriously considering running for governor. The prosecutorial corruption in California (esp Santa Barbara & the Bell scandal) is rampant; and I promise that if elected I will clean up the District Attorney Offices throughout the state." 



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Actor Randy Quaid, in a photo from late 2020. (@randy.quaid.evi.quaid via Instagram)

To be fair, that's at least more of an announcement than Caitlyn Jenner made. While Jenner announced her run for Governor, she is yet to make any announcements on her policies or positions, leading many to dismiss her shot. Quaid is yet to file the paperwork for his run but he has time since a date for the election is yet to be announced. Should he file the paperwork, there is one clear hurdle Quaid faces — his legal woes.

Quaid's legal woes

The actor has a long history of legal woes and it is unclear as of now if they will mean he cannot run for office. Even if they aren't a challenge, Quaid will have to face the public over his troubles, which could hurt his chances of winning. Over the last decade, he has become quite infamous for his conspiracy theories and legal issues, including a string of arrests. Back in 2009, he and his wife were arrested for using an invalid credit card to pay a $10,000 bill in Santa Barbara. The couple faced felony charges of burglary, defrauding and conspiracy, but the case was tossed due to a lack of evidence. 

Then in 2010, the couple was charged with burglary after they spent five days living in, and damaged, a property they once owned. They claimed that their home was wrongfully transferred using a forged signature, but failed to appear in court. The duo fled to Canada and sought asylum after Quaid claimed, "Hollywood is murdering its movie stars." While his wife was granted citizenship, Quaid's requests were denied, including his attempt to gain permanent resident status. He was also arrested by the border guards for his outstanding US warrants. The US canceled his passports, leading Quaid to sue the State Department in 2014. 

In 2015, the Canadian government announced it would deport the actor after he exhausted all his legal appeals. A week before being deported, the couple drove into the US via Vermont and was arrested by US Customs. The case against him was dropped after a Vermont judge found "irregularities" and the couple was allowed to live in the state without conditions. Quaid briefly returned to California in 2017 for a vacation but has otherwise stayed well away from the state. 

Actor Randy Quaid and his wife arrive at The Carousel of Hope Ball benefiting The Barbara Davis Center for Childhood Diabetes October 28, 2000, at the Beverly Hills Hilton in Beverly Hills (Getty Images)

Can Quaid run for Governor?

Quaid's announcement brings up several questions, notably whether the actor can actually run for office. Legal woes aside, Quaid is now no longer a resident of California. According to Ballotpedia, to run for the seat, a person must be registered to vote in the state and "a resident of the state for at least five years on election day". The last known home of Quaid is Vermont, and it is unclear if the actor has since moved to California. 

Even if Quaid managed to show he lived in the state, there is the question of winning over voters. A known supporter of Trump, Quaid could choose to run as a Republican, entering an already crowded field. Quaid would be up against not just Jenner, but other high-profile Republicans including former San Diego mayor Kevin Faulconer, businessman John Cox and former Rep Doug Ose. Right now, it seems like social media has it very clear they do not want Quaid running. 

Randy Quaid in an image posted in December 2020. (@RandyRRQuaid via Twitter)

One person tweeted, "Caitlyn Jenner and Randy Quaid have a chance at becoming Governor of CA. Living through the collapse of American democracy in real time has been weirder than I imagined." Another said, "Randy Quaid running for Governor isn't even in the top ten of crazy shit happening in the GQP this year. Think about that."



"Randy Quaid has now thrown his hat into the ring and will be running against Caitlyn Jenner for Governor of California. GOP politics are looking more and more like a season of Celebrity Death Match," said another. One more person tweeted, "The absurdity of my home State California’s attempted recall of Newsom just got upped by Randy Quaid saying he would challenge Caitlyn Jenner. Any legitimate concerns are are obfuscated by this these type challenges."



This is just a fraction of the reaction on social media to Qauid's announcement. Judging by it, it is clear Quaid faces a massive mountain to make good on his claim. Right now, the deck is stacked against Quaid and it seems like his announcement is nothing more than a joke. But then again, we also thought Donald Trump's announcement to run for president was a joke. Will California learn from 2016? Only time can tell.

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