Former California Governor Gavin Newsom (D) announced on Sunday that he will not run for a third term in office, the first time in the past two decades that a governor has declined to seek a third consecutive term.
Newsom made the announcement in a tweet, but a video of the announcement posted by NBC News shows that he did not appear to hold back in his criticism of the current governor, Kamala Harris (D), who he had served as attorney general and who has been in office since 2012.
“It’s time for Kamala to step aside.
I think she has done a lot for California and for the country.
We need a new leader,” Newsom said in the video.”
But I’m also going to be the new sheriff in chief and I have a mandate to do that,” Newsome added.
“If that means taking on the current incumbent and running against her, so be it.
But that’s my job, and I’m going to do it.”
Newsom, who had announced his intention to seek the Democratic nomination in 2018, said that he wanted to spend his time working on issues of fairness, opportunity and opportunity.
He said he would not run again in 2020 and instead would focus on “making the state of California stronger and more prosperous.”
“This is the moment,” Newsomes statement read.
“It is time for me to leave the governor’s office and take on the new governor of California.
I’m leaving a job that is very much in the interest of all Californians and my fellow Californians, and that is going to require a different kind of leadership than what Kamala has shown over the last two years.”
Harris, who has served as Attorney General and Governor since 2013, has made several high-profile decisions that critics say have harmed the state’s economy and hurt minorities.
She has appointed anti-LGBTQ judges, banned transgender people from the military, repealed the Affordable Care Act, and vetoed more than 30 bills related to the environment.
She also voted to protect a controversial new law that would have required employers to provide healthcare coverage for gender reassignment surgery.
Newsome is not the first governor to announce his intention not to seek another term, but he has been the most outspoken, taking aim at Harris’ handling of the drought and other economic issues.
“In recent months, I’ve watched the state deteriorate and its economy become worse, with many of our families struggling, struggling to survive,” Newsomo said in his video announcing his decision.
“This is a time for real leadership, and it’s time to replace the current Governor with a new one.”
Harris has said she has no plans to run for governor again.