Gavin Newsom takes steps to run for governor of California

Gavin NewsomShaking up an already fast-moving political landscape, Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom revealed in an email to his list that he had taken the first step toward a run for governor in 2018.

Framing his announcement as a characteristically Californian statement “without evasiveness or equivocation,” he explained he was creating the initial committee necessary to mustering resources for a run.

A combination of reasons fueled Newsom’s early jump into a race that’s still out on the other side of the next presidential election. On the one hand, as the Los Angeles Times reported, Newsom’s committee will empower him to “raise up to $28,200 per supporter for both the primary and general elections, meaning he can collect $56,400 per donor.”

On his website, Newsom played up the practical importance of that head start. He said running “in America’s largest, most diverse state demands that I start raising resources now.”

On the other hand, Newsom, like other Democrats victorious in their last election cycle, has maintained a sizable war chest — in Newsom’s case, around $3 million. Nevertheless, Newsom likely will be expected to come up with much more than that.

“Running for governor is likely to cost $30 million to $50 million, or possibly much more,” the Washington Post observed. “Meg Whitman, the former eBay chief executive who ran against Brown in 2010, spent $144 million on a losing campaign.”

A quiet deal?

In the meanwhile, attention has focused on the timing between Newsom’s announcement and Attorney General Kamala Harris’s announcement that she will run to replace retiring Barbara Boxer in the U.S. Senate.

Just last month, Newsom told San Francisco radio station KGO that it was “laughably premature” to discuss his possible interest in taking over for Brown in 2018. He described his disinterest in Boxer’s seat as merely dispositional. “I’ve got a bias toward my children, my wife, my family. I’ve enjoyed my time as mayor, and I like the executive side of the world.”

The careful positioning led some to speculate that Harris and Newsom, close enough to share the same consultant, quietly bargained behind the scenes to run for different offices. Publicly, that was denied. A source close to Harris told the San Francisco Chronicle she and Newsom didn’t make a deal to split up their campaigns:

“She never talked to him,” the source said. “I think he read the tea leaves and made his decision.”

“However, Newsom — who has long let it be known that he wants to be governor — said he talked to Harris on Sunday night to let her know that he wasn’t going to be running for Senate.”

Decision time

Now that both Harris and Newsom have formalized their plans, the pressure has ratcheted up on other ambitious Democrats, whose next steps are the subject of feverish speculation. Top Democrats in Los Angeles have been affected most by the Harris/Newsom split.

As the Post reported, the two San Franciscans have long been “cognizant of the other’s ambitions and aware that running against each other could provide an opportunity for a rival from Los Angeles” — specifically, former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, who faces “renewed pressure” to choose which rival, if any, to challenge.

In Washington, D.C., making the rounds on the occasion of accepting an award, Villaraigosa stayed mum on the Senate race, preferring to regale reporters with a campaign-like discussion of the importance of education. That in itself could reflect a greater interest in a gubernatorial run, however.

Villaraigosa conspicuously supported the parents in the Vergara case, which challenged California’s teacher tenure system, claimed the existing system discriminates against minorities and the poor. And he endorsed Marshall Tuck, the reformer opposed by the teachers’ unions in November’s race for state superintendent of public instruction.

By contrast, Harris filed the Vergara appeal in the case, defending the status quo, an action supported by Newsom.

And Harris and Newsom endorsed Tuck’s opponent, union-backed incumbent Tom Torlakson, who won the race.

16 comments

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  1. Bruce
    Bruce 12 February, 2015, 17:11

    What a shame that Ca. is a one party state.

    Reply this comment
  2. Lou
    Lou 12 February, 2015, 17:19

    He doesn’t even list his political affiliation CALIFORNIA DESERVES MORE AND BETTER.

    Reply this comment
  3. Bill
    Bill 12 February, 2015, 20:06

    Newsome is the perfect phony little Ken doll for California libbies.

    Reply this comment
  4. bob
    bob 13 February, 2015, 07:57

    And you think the Brown tard is bad?

    Hah, just wait until pretty boy or another of his ilk is governor and with a DemoNcrat legislature.

    You think taxes are high now? You think the nanny state is big now?

    You think the trough feeders are feasting now?

    Well, you ain’t seen nothin’, as they say.

    Reply this comment
  5. SkippingDog
    SkippingDog 13 February, 2015, 10:34

    Newsom will make an excellent governor; Harris, an excellent senator.

    Reply this comment
    • bob
      bob 13 February, 2015, 14:14

      I agree if your definition of excellent is ever higher (and more) taxes.

      Reply this comment
      • Ted
        Ted 13 February, 2015, 14:51

        That’s what u doomers said about democrat Brown and he has been a budget balancing and slashing fiscal moderate— grow up chuckleheads– shuffle back to your cubicles….lmao! wow– I’m funny.

        Reply this comment
        • bob
          bob 14 February, 2015, 10:47

          So will you bet money that the next DemoNcrat governor and legislature will NOT raise taxes?

          Reply this comment
        • ricky65
          ricky65 15 February, 2015, 19:45

          Really, Ted.
          Here you go clowning yourself with another inane, idiotic post.
          Did you remove your ‘if lost, please return to….’ hang tag off your neck again?
          They have been looking all over for you all over down at the home again.

          Reply this comment
      • SeeSaw
        SeeSaw 15 February, 2015, 18:24

        If you want lower taxes, you must move to a red state.

        Reply this comment
  6. maximilian
    maximilian 13 February, 2015, 11:38

    Nominating and electing someone with a vision to lead this state does not begin with the Lt. Governor. Yesterday, he formed his exploratory committee which allows him “to put together a compelling strategy for California” and to focus on a campaign theme — “how we can once again reinvigorate the California dream.” I’m fairly certain Jerry believes he has done a lot of invigorating. Gavin went on to say, “I think drugs are too dangerous to leave to drug dealers. Time to regulate, time to tax — and time to get our arms around this.”
    Of course, the first thing on Gavin’s list of things to do on any issue will always include (1) raising taxes and (2) regulating.
    Bottom Line: We’ll move forward and do what we can to prevent this no-vision bureaucrat (and Kamala) from being nominated.

    Reply this comment
  7. Ulysses Uhaul
    Ulysses Uhaul 13 February, 2015, 16:57

    Only thing doomers fear is fear itself!

    Why worry about the future of politican ‘s decisions.?

    Worry about your family and personal lot in life.

    Most of you petty pity coats need to smell the roses!

    Reply this comment

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