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California politicos are salivating at a potential lieutenant governor primary showdown between Los Angeles City Councilwoman Janice Hahn and San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom.

But it's not just the idea of a contest between the SoCal and NorCal big hitter Dems that has perked the interest of campaign junkies.

Hahn has hired a slew of big-name Democratic strategists, including Garry South, who happened to play a leading role in Newsom's failed gubernatorial bid.

Today, the ever-quotable South didn't hold back in sharing his feelings about his ex-boss mulling an entry into the race.

In a statement to reporters, South wrote that he was "surprised and perplexed" that his "friend and former client" was considering running for a job he previously derided as "a largely ceremonial post" that had "no real authority and no real portfolio."

"In every one of several conversations we had about the job while he was running for governor, the Mayor expressed nothing but disinterest in and disdain for the office of lieutenant governor," South wrote.

"When he precipitously pulled out of the governor's race in late October - against my advice - he said he couldn't continue as a statewide candidate because he was a husband, a new father and the mayor of San Francisco," South continues. "So far as I know, he's still a husband, a new father and the mayor of San Francisco. So it's pretty hard to see what's changed over the last four months that would now allow him to run for another statewide office."

Hahn's campaign has shifted into attack mode since Newsom confirmed he's considering a run -- blasting Newsom's move in late-night e-mails and Web videos.

A representative for Newsom was not immediately available to comment on the comments from his former adviser and "friend," but the editors of the progressive blog Calitics posted a letter calling on South to step down in the wake of the "highly unethical" attack and for deploying a "destructive style of vicious personal attacks" in his campaigns.

Both Democrats will face Sen. Dean Florez, who appears to be vying for the animal-lover votes, in the June primary. Sens. Sam Aanestad and Abel Maldonado, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's embattled nominee for the job, are seeking the GOP nomination.

A link to the Calitics entry was added to this post at 2:45 p.m.


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