S.F. Mayor Gavin Newsom Lays the Groundwork for Governor Run

Wed. July 2, 2008 12:00 AM by Gay Link Content

San Francisco, CA - Just weeks after the California Supreme Court finished a job started four years ago by San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom and legalized same-sex marriages, the controversial and seemingly fearless politician announced he had launched an exploratory bid for governor Tuesday.

The Los Angeles Times reported that the 40-year-old, two-term mayor was the first to toss his name into the ring as a possible Democratic candidate to succeed Republican Arnold Schwarzenegger, who is barred by term limits from running again in 2010.

According to the Times, Newsom said he would decide by the end of the year if he would run.

Newsom made headlines in 2004 when he ordered the city of San Francisco to issue a marriage license to same-sex couples. Newsom's bold stand made him a hero among the gay community.

Last month, he married long-time couple Del Martin and Phyllis Lyon, whom he had first married in 2004. That marriage was overturned when the Supreme Court struck down Newsom's ruling. On June 16, Martin and Lyon became the first same-sex couple legally married in the state of California.

But for all the support he received for championing same-sex rights, the mayor has a stain on his record. In 2005, he admitted to having an affair which led to the end of his marriage and vowed to enter treatment for alcohol abuse.

According to the Times, his reputation as a diehard liberal will make his bid for governor an uphill battle.

"While California is clearly purple to blue in most state races, it's not nearly as blue as San Francisco," Tony Quinn, a non-partisan election handicapper, told the newspaper.

Quinn added that while the widespread attention Newsom gained for his actions surrounding same-sex marriage made him more familiar than many mayors in California, to must of the state, he also faces the battle of being an unknown.

Written By Adam Higgins

Article provided in partnership with GayLinkContent.com.