Newsom: 'I am not going away' 

With his recently revealed affair and confession of alcohol abuse still fresh in the minds of many voters, Mayor Gavin Newsom announced his "fight" for re-election Sunday during the grand opening of his campaign headquarters and apologized profusely, once again, for his actions. "It bears repeating over and over and over again, I’m sorry, I am, that you (all) had to go through this. And most importantly how sorry I am that I hurt someone that you all care about — and should — someone I care deeply about, and that is Alex Tourk," Newsom said as the crowd cheered in support.

Newsom opened the campaign headquarters without his former trusted aide and re-election campaign manager Alex Tourk, who resigned two weeks ago after finding out the mayor had an affair with his wife, Ruby Rippey-Tourk, who was Newsom’s appointment secretary.

Newsom publicly admitted to the affair Feb. 1, as media reports surfaced of the sexual relationship. On Feb. 6, Newsom announced he had entered an outpatient rehabilitation program at the Delancey Street Foundation for alcohol abuse, a program that does not rely on the 12-step philosophy of Alcoholics Anonymous but works to address the underlying reasons for excessive drinking.

After affirming the "six days of clarity" and energy he has received because of his treatment at Delancey, Newsom said he was eager to tackle some of The City’s biggest issues, such as affordable housing and Muni.

"I am not going away — I care so deeply about this city," Newsom said. "You ain’t seen nothin’ yet."

Newsom’s fiery speech came just a day after he was met with skepticism at a Bayview community event, at which he was criticized for failing to live up to his previous campaign promises. It also comes on the heels of critical comments from SFSOS, a downtown business group that has been a strong supporter of the mayor — they also accused the 39-year-old mayor of missing the mark on a number of promises.

Reports have surfaced that some major donors could be abandoning the mayor out of disapproval for his actions.

Eric Jaye, Newsom’s senior campaign strategist, said although there will not be a formal announcement of the campaign for a few months, there is "no lack of clarity" that the mayor will run. Although Newsom does not yet have a new campaign manager, Jaye said his camp is "moving forward with the staff we have."

Newsom sat quietly in the Sutter Street campaign headquarters and seemed reflective as a slew of speakers praised his work as mayor. Former state Sen. John Burton and Assemblyman Mark Leno spoke on behalf of Newsom, encouraging the crowd to look at his accomplishments in office.

Among the speakers was Supervisor Bevan Dufty, who recently went head-to-head with the mayor over his decision to veto police foot patrol legislation that ultimately passed.

"I want to say that I know Gavin has made a lot of sacrifices and it is tough," Dufty said. "Gavin needs to be mayor — and he has to have time to himself in this process."

eeconomides@examiner.com

Each day until voters go to the polls Nov. 6, The Examiner lays odds on local figures beating Mayor Gavin Newsom. Check out our exclusive blog: San Francisco's Next Mayor?

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