Mayor Newsom running for governor

April 21, 2009 7:06:32 PM PDT
San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom made it official Tuesday. After months of talking about running for California governor, he officially made his announcement.

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Facebook headquarters in Palo Alto was Gavin Newsom's first public campaign stop as an official candidate for governor. The setting was fitting since Newsom made his announcement Tuesday morning on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

"We recognize that you can't be a serious candidate in this unless you use the new media," Newsom said.

In his three minute online campaign video, Newsom highlights what he believes are his successes as San Francisco mayor, including solar incentives and health care for the uninsured, but his signature issue, same-sex marriage, is not specifically mentioned.

Pollster and political analyst David Binder believes same-sex marriage will not be an issue in the Democratic primary, but generational differences will be a factor. Newsom is 41 years old and one of his likely opponents is 71-year-old former two-term governor and current state Attorney General Jerry Brown.

"I think it's safe to assume Gavin Newsom will have a strong appeal among young voters in California and Jerry Brown, frankly, isn't that well known among young voters, he goes back to the '70s," Binder said.

Binder believes the other viable candidate is Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, who has a strong Latino base.

Former State Senate President Pro Tem John Burton is likely to become head of the state Democratic Party in just a few days. He also believes the gubernatorial campaign will come down to the three men.

Burton hopes it will not be a bruising fight.

"I'm hopeful (although I doubt it) that we can all sit down in one room and agree not to be making vicious political attacks on each other," Burton said.

Some San Francisco activists worry about the mayor campaigning during the city's fiscal crisis.

"There's no question that his run for governor is going to take his attention off the city of San Francisco," Coalition on the Homeless spokesperson Jennifer Friedenbach said.

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