San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom is taking heat for running a low-profile campaign for California lieutenant governor, with former San Francisco Mayor and Democratic party insider Willie Brown questioning Newsom's tactics.

“It's nice to see San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom finally getting up some television ads for his lieutenant governor's race,” Brown wrote in a recent San Francisco Chronicle column, “because until now I wasn't sure he even had a campaign.”


Newsom's low-key approach also hasn't won over the Merced Sun-Star.

“Newsom is bright, energetic and has broad view of California's possibilities,” the paper's editorial board wrote recently. “It would be interesting to see him in a statewide office. But we are not convinced Newsom really wants to be lieutenant governor.”

Newsom is facing incumbent California Lieutenant Governor Abel Maldonado, a Republican who was appointed to the office by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger earlier this year.

A Field Poll in September showed that Newsom had a 4-point lead over Maldonado, but more voters had an unfavorable view of the San Francisco mayor compared to the Republican, which may account for the low profile — Newsom doesn't want to turn off the public even more.

But election day is only three weeks away, and, according to the L.A. Times, Newsom is sitting on a $1.2 million war chest — Maldonado has $456,548. High unfavorable numbers or not, Newsom will need to spend that cash on TV political ads if he's truly serious about winning.

Contact Patrick Range McDonald at

LA Weekly