San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom made a surprise announcement Friday afternoon that he was dropping out of the gubernatorial race, leaving the Democrats with no declared candidate for the top statewide office.
Attorney General Jerry Brown has opened an exploratory committee for governor but has yet to formally announce his candidacy.
Nonetheless, Brown has opened a wide lead over Newsom in both fund-raising and in polls.
"It is with great regret I announce today that I am withdrawing from the race for governor of California," Newsom said in a statement. "With a young family and responsibilities at city hall, I have found it impossible to commit the time required to complete this effort the way it needs to -- and should be -- done.
"This is not an easy decision. But it is one made with the best intentions for my wife, my daughter, the residents of the city and county of San Francisco, and California Democrats."
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