By Stephen M. Silverman
Updated August 18, 2003 01:53 PM

Former “West Wing” star Rob Lowe has leapt into Arnold Schwarzenegger’s California gubernatorial campaign, reports Reuters.

Lowe, a longtime Democratic activist, has accepted a volunteer position to organize other celebrity supporters for the “Terminator” candidate, a Republican who is seeking to unseat the incumbent, Democratic Gov. Gray Davis, in an Oct. 7 recall election.

In an interview with TV’s “Extra” scheduled to air Monday, Lowe, 39, calls Schwarzenegger, 56, a born leader who will “put the people above partisan politics” and noted that California voters need leadership over labels. “That’s what Arnold will bring to this state,” Lowe says. “He’s a leader. … That’s what we need right now, because the state’s in real trouble.”

On Schwarzenegger’s decision to toss his hat into the ring, Lowe says: “It’s a tremendous sacrifice for Arnold and for the family to give up their way of life — the privacy they value so much. One of the things I love about him is his relationship with his children and Maria (Shriver, his wife). It’s an amazing thing, and it’s all being put aside for the good of the state.”

Lowe, who played a political consultant on “West Wing” and stars this fall in the new NBC political series “The Lyon’s Den,” reportedly met PEOPLE coverboy Schwarzenegger while on vacation three years ago. Lowe also was an ardent supporter of failed Democratic Presidential candidate Michael Dukakis in 1988.

Attending the Democratic National Convention that year in Atlanta, Lowe videotaped himself in a hotel room cavorting naked with two young women, one of whom turned out to be underage.

Meanwhile, in other Schwarzenegger news, a Field poll released Saturday showed that California’s current Lt. Gov. Cruz Bustamante, a Democrat, has the backing of 25 percent of those surveyed, compared to 22 percent for Schwarzenegger.

Six other contenders (among the 135 candidates on the recall ballot) are trailing far behind with only single-digit support, according to the Field Research Corp.’s survey of 448 likely voters.