Gavin Newsom's going to announce his campaign for Lt. Governor in a few days.
That's what inside sources are telling us, anyway. (And the rumor's been circulating for a bit.) The mayor has been making a lot of phone calls in the past few days, checking in with supporters and lining up allies. And he's ready to make the leap.
(Other sources say just the opposite, but such is San Francisco politics.)
The move makes a lot of sense from Newsom's point of view; he'll be termed out of office in two years, with nothing much to do on the horizion. And for a politician with heavy ambitions, that's a bad place to be.
In the Lite Gov's spot, he can keep a high profile, push education issues (the Lt. Gv. is a member of the UC Regents), make a bunch of speeches -- and have no responsibility at all for actual follow through, which was never his strong suit.
And he'll be positioned to run for an office like U.S. Senate should Dianne Feinstein decide to retire.
The issue has always been the local impact: If Newsom wins -- and he would enter the race as the odds-on favorite -- then he'd have to resign his job as mayor with a year left, and the supervisors would pick an new mayor, who could then run for re-election as an incumbent. Newsom's money guys have never been happy with the prospect of leaving the city in the hands of a mayor appointed by a progressive majority on a district-elected board, but Newsom's over that, our sources say. He's thinking of his own future, and it looks like Sacramento.
So no confirmation, this is still at the rumor stage, but I'm betting he goes for it.