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California Governor Gavin Newsom officially endorsed President Joe Biden’s reelection bid on Tuesday. And an individual close to Newsom told TheWrap the governor is shelving his own presidential ambitions for a 2024 run as a result.
“Our democracy is under attack,” Newsom wrote on Twitter. “Our freedom is being stripped away. It’s time to step up — and there’s no one better to lead that fight than President Biden. Looking forward to another four years of his leadership. Let’s show up big today. Every dollar counts.”
According to individuals close to Newsom, the governor had been waiting for Biden’s decision before launching his own 2024 presidential bid.
One insider told TheWrap that Newsom was unequivocally going to run if Biden didn’t. “No ifs, ands or buts. He will run if Biden does not,” the individual said.
In recent months, Newsom had set his sights outside California, running ads in red states attacking conservatives. Earlier this month, the California governor wrapped up a tour of Arkansas, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida, where he derided the states’ Republican governors.
His office said Newsom also planned to visit Indiana, South Carolina, Ohio, South Dakota and Texas.
Newsom said he “wanted to take the fight where freedom is most under attack.” Republican leaders, however, derided him as a carpetbagger. Democratic leaders, however, applauded his effort.
“Everyone needs to be doing this,” said David Pepper, a former chair of the Ohio Democratic Party told Politico. “We’ve seen the consequence when only one side is engaging in these states — it’s a disaster.”
Last November, Newsom won his gubernatorial reelection race against Republican Brian Dahle, a member of the California state senate. Newsom has attracted a broad range of support from Hollywood and the tech industry, including Jeffrey Katzenberg, Haim Saban, JJ Abrams and Silicon Valley titans Ron Conway and Eric Schmidt — a solid base that Newsom could tap for a future presidential run.
Representatives for Newson didn’t immediately respond to TheWrap’s request for comment.