POLITICS
04/23/2009 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

San Francisco Mayor Newsom Begins Campaigning For Governor

LOS ANGELES -- Voters haven't put a Northern California politician in the governor's office in 47 years, which helps explain why San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom has already begun campaigning -- 20 months before the election.

Mr. Newsom is little known in Southern California, and many voters here who recognize him do so for controversial issues: his championing of same-sex marriage, an affair with a top aide's wife and his admission of alcohol abuse. His likely Democratic challengers, Attorney General Jerry Brown and Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, have much wider bases of support.

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