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Gavin Newsom, the current Lieutenant Governor of California, recently announced that he will be running for the top job of Governor in 2018. But, history shows us that since 1939, when most of the powers of the second-highest office in the state were removed, the odds of them being elected to govern it are quite small. Since then, only one lieutenant governor–Gray Davis, in 1998–has been elected to the top spot.

It’s not that others haven’t tried. In 1982, incumbent LG Mike Curb ran for governor against Attorney General George Deukmejian, but was defeated in the primary election. And, in 2003, then-LG Cruz Bustamante ran in the recall election of Governor Davis, but lost. So, the road is certainly steep–but not impossible–for Mr. Newsom.