Newsom's Hispanic-Friendly Pick for Campaign Chair

State senator may help draw Latino voters to San Francisco mayor's gubernatorial campaign

Gavin Newsom's announcement of State Senator Alex Padilla (D.-Pacoima) as campaign chair suggests that the San Francisco mayor is looking for help wooing Southern California voters, particularly Latinos, as California's race for governor simmers through the summer.

Since Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa announced that he wasn't going to run for governor, observers have noted that the race may hinge on which Democratic hopeful manages to woo Villaraigosa's likely supporters in California's Latino community.

Padilla, a rising star in state Democratic Party circles, previously served as the Los Angeles City Council President -- and was the first Latino to hold the job, much like Villaraigosa's groundbreaking election as mayor.

Newsom trails former governor and current Attorney General Jerry Brown 22 percent to 51 percent among Latino voters according to a June poll cited by Calbuzz.

"Few people know Newsom outside his own city, and I think it’s going to be tough for him to try to create a constituency among Latinos," said James Acevedo, a longtime Brown ally, to the LA Daily News.

Newsom made the announcement shortly before an appearance in Woodland Hills, his first in the San Fernando Valley. On Wednesday, he'll continue a southern swing with an appearance in South L.A., followed by San Bernardino, Long Beach and Riverside in the coming weeks.

Photo by Greg Hernandez.

Jackson West can't wait to see Newsom chowing down on tacos from a truck in East L.A..

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