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State Sen. Dean Florez has decided not to run for lieutenant governor after all.

The Shafter Democrat, in a letter to supporters, said that San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom's decision to seek the post makes it unrealistic for him to continue running. Newsom announced his candidacy today.

Polls show that "he commands a formidable lead that would be hard to surmount," Florez wrote.

Florez thanked supporters for their help, but said, "As an African proverb says, 'When the music changes, so must the dance.' Well, the music has changed, and sadly so has the dance."

"While it hurts to undo so much hard work, I'm not embittered about this predicament," he said. "I am pragmatic enough to recognize that politics is unpredictable."

Florez said that he will continue fighting for his constituents in the Senate until he is termed out in December, and that he will use his campaign funds to help elect a Democratic governor and other party candidates.

Newsom and San Francisco District Attorney Kamala Harris, who is running for attorney general, are two candidates that Florez vowed to assist.

"Make no mistake, I want to see our party succeed in the upcoming election," he said.


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