San Francisco mayor Gavin Newsom filed papers for a campaign committee that lets him start gathering contributions for a possible run for governor in 2010. He's the first of the prospective Democratic candidates to open a committee, and it probably was timed for today — the first day of the new reporting cycle — so that he won't have to disclose any contributions until next year. Jerry Brown, Steve Westly, John Garamendi, Bill Lockyer and Jack O'Connell are all thought to be looking at the race too. Antonio Villaraigosa as well, but unlike the others he first has to get past reelection next year. From the San Francisco Chronicle:
Supporters can give him up to $24,100 each for the 2010 Democratic primary and general election. The next race for governor is expected to be a highly competitive contest that could cost each major party candidate upward of $30 million.
Newsom "needs to take this initial and technical step to begin to organize a campaign," Eric Jaye, his political adviser, said today. "The key to his boldness is preparation. And, he's made a determination he will explore the race seriously and make the ultimate decision from a position of knowledge and strength."
Here's Mark Barabak's story in the L.A. Times.
Also: David Zahniser on Villaraigosa's fundraising day. LAT