California Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom said Monday he will not seek the Senate seat being vacated by Democrat Barbara Boxer in 2016.
“While I am humbled by the widespread encouragement of so many and hold in the highest esteem those who serve us in federal office, I know that my head and my heart, my young family's future, and our unfinished work all remain firmly in the State of California—not Washington D.C.,” Newsom wrote on his verified Facebook page.
The decision by Newsom, a Democrat, clears the way for state Attorney General Kamala Harris to seize the party's mantle if she chooses to run.
Boxer's retirement announcement last week set off a political scramble in the Golden State, raising questions about which Democrats on the state's deep bench would seek her seat versus wait for Governor Jerry Brown's term to expire in 2018 or for Senator Dianne Feinstein to retire.
Former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and former investment executive Tom Steyer, both Democrats, have said they are considering running for the Boxer seat.
Politico reported on Newsom's decision earlier Monday.