California Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom leads the field of potential candidates for governor in 2018. (Jae C. Hong/The Associated Press)

Capitol Alert
By Christopher Cadelago
November 14, 2016

California Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom is the early favorite to succeed fellow Democrat Jerry Brown in the 2018 gubernatorial race, as the state’s second-in-command holds large advantages among Democrats and independents, according to a new Field Poll.

Newsom, leading with support from 23 percent of registered voters, is followed by a pair of rising Republicans: San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer (16 percent) and outgoing Fresno Mayor Ashley Swearengin (11 percent).

The poll, released late Monday, is designed to gauge dynamics of the contest as the field continues to take shape. It shows Newsom out ahead of eight other candidates, including two Democratic rivals already in the race, former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and state Treasurer John Chiang.

Villaraigosa, who entered the race Thursday, casting himself as a bulwark against Republican President-elect Donald Trump’s incendiary campaign rhetoric, receives 6 percent support while Chiang, a candidate since late May, is at 2 percent.

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