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Democrat Mayor Gavin Newsom quits bid for California governor's office

October 30, 2009 |  3:28 pm

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Gavin Newsom, the controversial mayor of San Francisco, abandoned his bid for the Democratic nomination to run for California governor next year, succeeding term-limited Republican incumbent Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Newsom said he made the decision with "great regret" because he "found it impossible to commit the time required to complete this effort the way it needs to -- and should be -- done." (See his full statement below.)

The harsh political reality, however, is the real reason is his campaign was getting no statewide traction or much money, despite recent campaign help[ from ex-President Clinton. Ex-governor, ex-mayor, current Atty. Gen. Jerry Brown remains the invisible 800-pound donkey in the political room. Brown hasn't even....

...announced as a candidate and has raised in excess of $7 million, several times that accumulated by Newsom.

The sudden move -- always watch out for Friday afternoons in politics -- officially leaves the Democratic field temporarily empty of heavyweights seeking to head the nation's most populous state.

On the Republican side, Meg Whitman, Steve Poizner and Tom Campbell are competing for the GOP nod.

Here is the full text of Newsom's 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.

-- Andrew Malcolm

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Photo: Associated Press

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