Newsom Begins His San Francisco Farewell Tour

By Sajid Farooq
|  Wednesday, Nov 3, 2010  |  Updated 10:45 AM PDT
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Where's Gavin?

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It's been a long road to redemption for outgoing San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom.

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As the San Francisco Giants parade down Market Street Wednesday to close the book on their successful season, another city icon will unofficially begin his farewell tour.

San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom is now officially a lame duck leader a year before his term is scheduled to end.

Tuesday night, Newsom was projected to knock off incumbent Lieutenant Governor Abel Maldonado, officially serving notice to the City that he is leaving come January.

Newsom's 15 years in San Francisco politics has been filled with high and lows, personal scandal and international triumph and horror. Whether his constituents love him or hate, the Newsom name causes a reaction in any corner of the City.

It has been no secret that the two time mayor has had his sights set on higher office.  Even when he openly questioned whether he wanted to seek a second term as mayor or even when Newsom joked about becoming a wine clerk, there was little doubt he had his eyes fixed on Sacramento.

But few would have thought that Newsom would rise to where he has -- bringing attention to an often ignored lieutenant governor's race and possibly putting himself in line to succeed Governor-elect Jerry Brown -- when he hosted a small fundraiser of Willie Brown's mayoral run in 1995.

Newsom went on to serve on the City's Parking and Traffic Commission before moving up to the Board of Supervisors and making his first run for mayor in 2003.

During his inaugural campaign, Newsom received an unexpected challenge from Green Party candidate and former Supervisor Matt Gonzalez during a run off election.

Newsom, who represented one of the City's more conservative districts when he was a supervisor, took heat for been to pro-business and receiving an endorsement from the Republican party.

Three years later,  and just over a month in office, Newsom would become the poster boy of everything that's wrong with the Democratic party when the mayor defied state law and began marrying same-sex couples.

His move was prompted the California Supreme Court to annul the licenses and pushed the gay marriage debate to the national forefront.

Newsom's popularity within the City was running high. In 2007, the mayor's most serious challenge for re-election came from a nudist.

Early in his career, Newsom's personal life had always been a hot topic ever since he became the youngest mayor elected in over 100 years.

The mayor's first marriage to former model and conservative commentator Kimberly Guilfoyle made headlines when it fell apart in 2005. The couple had been called "The New Kennedys" in a Harper's Bazaar spread that same year.

But the mayor's personal life would once again become an issue. Newsom was forced to admit to affair with his deputy chief of a staff, who happened to be married to his campaign manager and friend.

After going through a somber period where he openly questioned his desire to remain in office and where his love life became fodder for his political rivals, Newsom eventually came back to office.

His personal life began to settle down as well. In 2008, Newsom married actress Jennifer Siebel and shortly after the couple was blessed with a baby daughter named Montana.

The new father wasted no time re-energizing his political career. Newsoom took to Twitter to announce his run for governor.

But after not being able to generate donations and support, he pulled out of the race and eventually made his successful run for lieutenant governor.

With his departure from city life, Newsom leaves behind a confusing equation to find his successor. Characters like former mayors Willie Brown and Frank Jordan are just some of the names been floated to take over on a temporary basis.
 

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