SF Mayor Gavin Newsom visits San Diego

San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom is scheduled to visit a La Jolla renewable energy firm Wednesday, one day after declaring his candidacy for the 2010 Democratic gubernatorial nomination.

Newsom told City News Service in a telephone interview that if elected, he would push for strong solar energy incentives and other solutions that he said work well in San Francisco, including green building standards.

"We are putting San Franciscans, who used to be locked out of the old industrial economy, back to work as part of a new green economy,'' Newsom said. "The truth is we can't afford to keep returning to the same tired ideas and expect a different result. We need new ideas and innovative solutions to get out of this mess.''

In announcing his candidacy in a video posted on his campaign's Web site, Newsom said he was running "because California needs a new direction,'' then touted his successes as mayor. "In San Francisco, we've defended people's civil rights, created a universal health care program, protected teachers from layoffs and enacted a local stimulus plan that will put people back to work and save jobs. And we've done it while balancing our budgets and seeing our bond ratings go up,'' he said.

Although Newsom officially declared his candidacy only Tuesday, he has been campaigning for months. He began an exploratory campaign in July and visited Santa Monica, San Diego and Palm Springs and Santa Barbara last month in what his campaign billed as a series of conversations about California's future.

Attorney General Jerry Brown, California's governor from 1975-83, and Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa are also expected to seek the Democratic gubernatorial nomination in hopes of succeeding Republican Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, who is barred from seeking re-election because of term limits.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., is considered a potential candidate. Newsom has said he'll drop out of the race if Feinstein decides to run.

Newsom, 41, gained national recognition in 2004 when he ordered San Francisco's county clerk to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples in violation of state law. The marriages were later invalidated by a court ruling.

   
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