Jerry Brown Versus Gavin Newsom

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It should be one heckuva governor's race. Brown has more name recognition and is ahead in the polls for the Democratic Party nomination. But Newsom, who formally announced his candidacy earlier this week, will be formidable. He's a strong fund-raiser and his brave stance on gay marriage should give him a considerable boost with the party's liberal/progressive wing, especially in Hollywood. And then don't forget about popular Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa. At this point, though, it looks like it's Brown's race to lose. Even though his tenure as Oakland mayor was mostly unimpressive, as a state Attorney General, he has the advantage of being able to create positive news for himself regularly between now and the June 2010 primary. Earlier this week, for example, he sued Wells Fargo bank for allegedly ripping off its customers. Expect plenty more similar lawsuits in the months ahead.

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