Newsom begins fundraising for 2018 governor’s race

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Gavin Newsom, lieutenant governor of California, arrives at the State Capitol in Sacramento, California, U.S., on Monday, Jan. 5, 2015. (Getty Images)

SACRAMENTO – Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom opened a fundraising account Wednesday to a run for governor in 2018.

In an email to supporters, Newsom said “our state is defined by its independent, outspoken spirit.  When Californians see something we truly believe in, we say so and act accordingly – without evasiveness or equivocation,” the Los Angeles Times reported.

“So today I’m announcing that I’m creating a committee to run for California governor in 2018.  Because I truly and passionately believe in the future of this great state.”

Newsom has long wanted to be governor, and the move – more than three years before the election – is an early shot across the bow at other potential Democratic candidates. By forming a committee, Newsom can raise up to $28,200 per supporter for both the primary and general elections, meaning he can collect $56,400 per donor.

The move immediately puts pressure on former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, who is considering whether to challenge Atty. Gen. Kamala Harris in the 2016 U.S. Senate race, or possibly run for governor in 2018.

No other candidate has opened a gubernatorial campaign committee, according to the secretary of state’s office.

Newsom, 47, gained national attention during his tenure as mayor San Francisco for his 2004 decision to have the city issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. He also launched the country’s first universal healthcare initiative. But he also suffered scandal – an affair with his campaign manager and close friend’s wife.

Read more at Los Angeles Times.

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