SACRAMENTO (CBS SF) — California Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom says he will begin raising money to run for California governor in 2018.

In a post on his website Wednesday morning, Newsom announced his intention to run while noting such an announcement was somewhat unusual for an election more than three years away.

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“I’ve never been a fan of pretense or procrastination,” he wrote. “After all, our state is defined by its independent, outspoken spirit. When Californians see something we truly believe in, we say so and act accordingly — without evasiveness or equivocation.”

The former mayor of San Francisco has been a controversial national figure since 2004 when he ordered the San Francisco city clerk in 2004 to ignore state law at the time and issue marriage licenses to gay couples.

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Newsom has long wanted to be governor, and his announcement last month that he would not pursue a U.S. Senate seat created anticipation he would seek the state’s top post.

He was re-elected to a second four-year term as lieutenant governor in November.

Newsom says that although California has reigned in its finances, the state has long-term challenges to create private-sector jobs and keep college affordable.

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