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Gavin Newsom Won't Seek California Senate Seat

Newsom, left, will not run for Senate in California. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

California Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom announced Monday he will not seek the Senate seat opened by the retirement of Democratic Sen. Barbara Boxer.  

Newsom, a former mayor of San Francisco, was among the Democrats mentioned last week as potentially formidable candidates in 2016. Others still in the mix include Attorney General Kamala Harris, former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and billionaire Tom Steyer, as well as a few members of Congress. Now at the start of his second term as lieutenant governor, Newsom's decision indicates he is eyeing a gubernatorial run in 2018, when Gov. Jerry Brown will be termed out.  

"It's always better to be candid than coy," Newsom said in a statement posted to his Facebook page . "While I am humbled by the widespread encouragement of so many and hold in the highest esteem those who serve us in federal office, I know that my head and my heart, my young family's future, and our unfinished work all remain firmly in the State of California — not Washington D.C."  

With California continuing to trend Democratic statewide, the party is a solid favorite to retain the seat next year.  

The race is rated Safe Democratic by the Rothenberg & Gonzales Political Report/Roll Call.  

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