SF Mayor Gavin Newsom Dropping Out of CA Governor's Race

Gavin Newsom, the San Francisco mayor best known nationally as an outspoken advocate of same-sex marriage, is pulling the plug on his run for governor of California.

My colleague, ABC News’ Teddy Davis, has more:

San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom (D) is dropping out of the California governor’s race, clearing the way for Attorney General Jerry Brown to be the Democratic Party’s 2010 gubernatorial nominee.

Newsom, who was recently endorsed by former President Bill Clinton, was hoping to frame the race again Brown, who was first elected governor in 1974, as a generational choice.

In the end, Newsom was totally overwhelmed on the fundraising front.

According to the most recent count, Brown had more than seven times as much cash on hand. Brown also has a 20-point lead over Newsom in the most recent Field Poll.

Newsom is not the first Democrat to drop out of the race against Brown: earlier this year, Lt. Gov. John Garamendi (D) dropped out of the race and decided to run instead in a special election for Congress which is taking place on Tuesday. Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa decided not to enter the race after seriously considering it.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., who officiated at Brown’s wedding, has not completely shut the door on running for governor but she is widely expected to pass on the race.

The Republican candidates for governor are former eBay CEO Meg Whitman, former Rep. Tom Campbell, R-Calif., and state Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner.

Current Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) is barred from running again due to term limits.

Brown, who is friends with Newsom’s father and met the future mayor when he was a boy, reacted to the news that Newsom was dropping out of the race by talking up his future. "Mayor Newsom is a talented public official and I believe he has a bright future,” said Brown in a written statement. “ I am sure this was not an easy decision. Anne and I wish Gavin and his family all the best." Here is Newsom’s official statement:

It is with great regret I announce today that I am withdrawing from the race for governor of California. With a young family and responsibilities at city hall, I have found it impossible to commit the time required to complete this effort the way it needs to — and should be — done.

This is not an easy decision. But it is one made with the best intentions for my wife, my daughter, the residents of the city and county of San Francisco, and California Democrats.

When I embarked on this campaign in April, my goal was to engage thousands and thousands of Californians dedicated to reforming our broken system and bringing change to Sacramento.

I would like to thank those supporters, volunteers, and donors who have worked so hard on my behalf. I have been humbled by their support and am indebted to their efforts. They represent the spirit of change and determination essential to putting California back on the right track.

I will continue to fight for change and the causes and issues for which I care deeply — universal health care, a cleaner environment, and a green economy for our families, better education for our children, and, of course, equal rights under the law for all citizens. ###

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