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Gavin Newsom Makes Lt. Gov Run Official; Janice Hahn Campaigns Today in the Bay Area

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Has California ever seen a race for Lt. Governor that has gotten so much coverage? The race for a practically unknown office is getting its due as San Francisco Mayor and former gubernatorial candidate Gavin Newsom faces off with Los Angeles City Councilmember Janice Hahn, whose brother is L.A.'s former mayor. Newsom today officially announced his run for the job along with a number of big name endorsements, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, State Senator Alex Padilla (D-Los Angeles), Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez (D-Los Angeles), Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson and the California Nurses Association.

Hahn, who announced her candidacy in December, has been working since garnering a plethora of endorsements from the likes of the California Federation of Teachers, Ed Begley Jr., The National Organization for Women (NOW), L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, L.A. City Council President Eric Garcetti, among many others.

The L.A. politician will be in the Bay Area this morning, giving a keynote speech at the National Women's Political Caucus in Marin County. Last month, amid rumors of today's eventual news, Hahn's campaign went on the attack, demonstrating that Newsom balked at the idea of running for Lt. Governor and admitting he didn't even know what the job was about.

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"Like many, I’ve openly questioned whether the office of LG is the right place to lead a reform movement that has the power to shake up Sacramento," Newsom said this morning, half addressing Hahn's attack. "But, as I’ve opened my mind, asked tough questions and met with esteemed experts, I’m more convinced than ever that the broad, informal portfolio of the office allows our Lieutenant Governor the freedom and platform to engage on any issue, from the ground up, without being distracted or deterred by the usual Sacramento power plays or bureaucratic turf battles. Big, bold ideas are the currency of this job and I plan on bringing many to the table."

Newsom says he's running because "it’s that local communities throughout California can only achieve their full potential if we fix the dysfunction that is strangling progress in Sacramento." And it can be fixed. "I know it can be done because we’ve done it in the City and County of San Francisco," he noted, touting his accomplishments in San Francisco--some locals will refute these--such as "putting politics aside and solving the toughest problems together," the creation of "new, modern, living-wage jobs," providing "access to quality health care for every resident," investing in schools and teachers and raising student test scores, protecting the environment and putting "put people back to work in the new green economy."

Running for office while serving as Mayor will be challenging, Newsom says. "I am certain that I can be both a successful candidate in this race and a devoted husband and father without having my focus, attention or passion for the job of Mayor affected or diluted by even one iota.”

" I clearly won’t be running a traditional, politics-as-usual campaign," he added.