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Update 5:40 p.m. Newsom filed paperwork with the Secretary of State indicating he's exploring a run. Jack Chang has more here.

Gavin Newsom appears to be gearing up for another run at statewide office.

As buzz grows that Newsom could throw his hat in the lieutenant governor race, SF Chron's Philip Matier and Andrew Ross are reporting that the San Francisco mayor is putting together a campaign team for a possible run.

This comes two weeks after a Newsom ally released a poll showing the former guv-hopeful at the front of the field of Democrats eying the lieutenant governor post.

Plagued by anemic fundraising numbers, Newsom dropped his gubernatorial bid in October, saying his mayoral and parental duties made it "impossible to commit the time required to complete this effort the way it needs to -- and should be -- done."

If he jumped in this race, Newsom would likely face Sen. Dean Florez and Los Angeles City Councilwoman Janice Hahn, whose campaign team is led by his former strategist Garry South, in the June Democratic primary.

In other "lite guv" news, GOP Sen. Abel Maldonado, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's embattled pick for the job, has been raking in campaign contributions despite his ongoing confirmation struggle.

PHOTO CREDIT: San Francisco Mayor, Gavin Newsom talks to the California Democratic Party Convention in San Jose, March 29, 2008. Brian Baer/Sacramento Bee



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