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Race for Unknown Political Office Heats Up

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Hahn


Hahn
It would be nice if Lt. Governor candidate (and L.A. City Councilmember) Janice Hahn focused on issues rather than attacking possible candidate (and San Francisco Mayor) Gavin Newsom. Of course, the political theatre that it has become is drawing attention to a race that no one ever pays attention to and in the end, that may be the genius behind it all. It also brings more attention to Hahn, herself, who would be otherwise unknown to the rest of the state if Newsom decides to enter. "In the next 10 days or so ... I'll make a decision," Newsom says.

Yesterday Hahn's Chief Strategist Garry South sent out a statement deriding Newsom (read it in full below). You see, South used to be Newsom's advisor and that has people calling for South's resignation. South's points are valid--Gavin has publicly denounced the office of Lt. Governor--but did he cross a line?

STATEMENT BY GARRY SOUTH CHIEF STRATEGIST, JANICE HAHN FOR LT. GOVERNOR

FORMER SENIOR ADVISOR, GAVIN NEWSOM FOR GOVERNOR

I am surprised and perplexed that my friend and former client Mayor Gavin Newsom apparently has decided to jump into the lieutenant governor's race at the last minute - especially against an already-announced candidate who would be the first woman lieutenant governor in California history.

In every one of several conversations we had about the job while he was running for governor, the Mayor expressed nothing but disinterest in and disdain for the office of lieutenant governor. In fact, he was derisively dismissive of Gray Davis's decision to run for and serve as lieutenant governor prior to running for governor ("I'm not a Gray Davis," he said). On a couple of occasions, he directed me to repudiate publicly in the strongest terms that he had any interest in ever running for lieutenant governor.

The Mayor himself told the Chronicle in October that rumors he may run for lieutenant governor were "absurd" and "a complete lie," and angrily accused Jerry Brown of personally spreading false information to that effect. As recently as December, he himself said flatly "no" when asked directly on a San Francisco radio show whether he intended to run for lieutenant governor.

In addition, when he precipitously pulled out of the governor's race in late October - against my advice - he said he couldn't continue as a statewide candidate because he was a husband, a new father and the mayor of San Francisco. So far as I know, he's still a husband, a new father and the mayor of San Francisco. So it's pretty hard to see what's changed over the last four months that would now allow him to run for another statewide office.

If the Mayor does run, it is his responsibility to explain why he now claims to want an elected office he summarily dismissed publicly numerous times over the last several months, and which just earlier this year he called "a largely ceremonial post" … "with no real authority and no real portfolio."