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Elsewhere: Newsom: I won’t, but won’t rule out, run for Lt. Guv Ex

San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom said today he was entertaining the possibility of entering the race to be California’s next lieutenant governor after a recent poll showed he would be the Democratic frontrunner if he entered the race.

Newsom, speaking to reporters this afternoon, said he has enjoyed spending time with his family since dropping out of the governor’s race in October, but was still intrigued at the possibility of working on the state level.

The poll, conducted last month of 600 likely Democratic voters statewide, showed Newsom receiving 33 percent of the vote, compared to 17 percent for Los Angeles City Councilwoman Janice Hahn and 15 percent for state Sen. Dean Florez from Kern County. The poll showed 35 percent of voters were undecided.

Both Hahn and Florez have declared their candidacy for the June primary. Candidates have until March 12 to enter the primary.

Newsom said it would take some convincing to get him to join the race because, since dropping out of the governor’s race, he has been able to devote his time and energy to his young daughter, wife, and job in the mayor’s office.

“I have had an extraordinary three and a half months with my family, and spending time getting into the weeds of city government, and I’m really enjoying myself,” he said.

However, Newsom said after already committing more than a year of his life to the cause of California as a gubernatorial candidate, he still was considering running for the state’s second-highest position.

“To the extent that I missed the opportunity to be part of the discussion of the narrative of California’s state and its future, that’s what’s appealing about running for office where you can be part of that,” Newsom said.

However, Newsom said the lack of real responsibilities in the lieutenant governor’s office would be a reason not to run.

“The governor has eviscerated the budget of the lieutenant governor’s office,” he said.

“There’s only a handful of people there, and one is always questioning the merits of having a lieutenant governor with no real authority and no real portfolio besides sitting on some statewide seats.”

Newsom said he isn’t saying “absolutely not” to his potential candidacy, but that “it’s not my focus and it hasn’t been for a nanosecond.”

The mayor said he is “concerned about the future of the state, however, and I do think there needs to be some voice in the mix.”

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