Gov. Gavin Newsom is testing his political mettle in California

After being tested and singed by fire as California’s governor, Newsom seeks another term

RICHMOND, Calif. — California Gov. Gavin Newsom has been testing his political mettle in Washington, running for the U.S. Senate. But now he’s testing his own mettle as he confronts a much more direct challenge: the governor’s race against Jerry Brown for the Democratic nomination for governor.

Newsom says he hasn’t decided whether he will seek a third term, and his decision to run for the Senate and the presidency will help determine whether he is ready to run for governor again. He’s been thinking about it, “and I’m sure it’s something that I’ll have to think about,” he said.

Newsom, 56, emerged from retirement to run for the Senate in November 2018. He ran unopposed in the Democratic primary and beat his Republican opponent, former state Assemblyman Travis Allen, by 17 percentage points. Brown finished second to Newsom; they will face each other in November 2020.

Newsom, who was never especially close to Brown, has made clear he would like to work with him again in the governor’s office. But he has been wary of appearing too aggressive as his potential rival for the Democratic nomination.

He was one of five Democrats running for governor in June, alongside former state Controller John Chiang, San Francisco Mayor London Breed, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and former San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer. Breed, a former mayor of Sacramento, became the first female and first openly gay leader in California history in 2018.

Some of his most notable accomplishments while in office, however, were the response to the state’s disastrous wildfires. In their wake, Newsom’s approval ratings plummeted to an all-time low in his first year as governor.

At the time, he was accused by Republicans and some Democrats of ducking the issue in a bid to win favor with a wider base. The criticism proved accurate, with nearly 60 percent of the state’s registered voters approving of his leadership in the face of

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