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Gavin Newsom quits race for California governor

October 30, 2009 |  3:15 pm

Newsom_3 San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom, who has been seen as a leading contender to be the next governor of California, announced today that he is quitting the race.

Newsom is withdrawing from the Democratic primary amid lackluster poll numbers and meager fund-raising receipts. His withdrawal leaves state Atty. Gen.  Jerry Brown, who is expected to run even though he has not officially entered the race, with little opposition in the Democratic primary.

“It is with great regret I announce today that I am withdrawing from the race for governor of California,” Newsom said in a statement. “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.”

Although Newsom had been effectively running for more than a year, his campaign never gained much traction. Even in his hometown, which Newsom touted as a model of cutting-edge policies, his candidacy was widely derided among civic insiders.

Perhaps most telling was the absence of support from the major San Francisco donors who helped underwrite Newsom’s successful campaigns in the city. He also drew relatively few endorsements from the ranks of his fellow elected officials.

Newsom had repeatedly told those close to him that he did not want to embarrass himself in the governor's race.

—Evan Halper in Sacramento

Photo: AP

More Times coverage of Newsom.

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