San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom today squelched rumors that he was about to declare his candidacy for lieutenant governor, although he is still considering a run for the post.
“I don’t know who said what to whom,” he said, responding to reporters’ queries this morning. “I’m here to say there is no pending announcement.”
However Newsom, 42, said he is still mulling over the idea. Former Lt. Gov. John Garamendi vacated the post after winning a seat in Congress in November. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has nominated state Sen. Abel Maldonado as his replacement, but the nomination has been stalled because he has so far failed to garner the 41 votes he needs in the Assembly.
The mayor made the remarks at a news conference announcing an international solar company’s plans to have its U.S. headquarters in San Francisco.
The official filing deadline for the June 8 primary is March 12. Wednesday is the last day potential candidates can purchase space in the official state voter information guide for a 250-word candidate statement, according to the Secretary of State’s office.
Newsom said that if he does file a statement, “don’t read into it.”
His quandary, he said, is the same one that caused him to pull out of the race for governor – “my ability to prioritize my family and the city.”
“Until I have that clarity, I won’t be making any announcements,” he said.
The mayor mentioned spending a sunny weekend toting his infant daughter Montana around Golden Gate Park in a Baby Bjorn carrier and that he has felt particularly energized and excited about his job in recent months. He also managed to slip a few campaign-friendly comments about job creation and unions into his remarks.
While he has numerous business interests that could keep him busy, Newsom was clear on his desire to remain in public office.
He acknowledged that his love of tinkering with public policy might sound like a strange fit for the lieutenant governor post, which is largely ceremonial.
Newsom said he is considering whether he “can do some things in that office that haven’t necessarily been done” and said he could be a voice for the interests of both cities and counties in Sacramento.
Newsom said he has two more years in his post, “to the extent I can get through this budget and avoid a recall,” but he is also considering what other long-term political options may present themselves.
“My life doesn’t end the day I’m no longer mayor,” he said.