Gavin Newsom’s bid for Governor suffered a potential blow this week, with the exit of long-time campaign manager Eric Jaye. Under Jaye’s tutelage, the Newsom campaign cultivated the image of a “fresh face” to contrast with Jerry Brown – and heavily courted the netroots and small donors in the Democratic Party. With Jaye’s departure, strategist Garry South is effectively calling the shots. Jaye says he quit because of a “fundamental difference in how to run the campaign,” suggesting that South will take Team Newsom in a different direction. South ran the statewide campaigns of Gray Davis, Steve Westly and Joe Lieberman’s California operation – efforts that were far more traditional and establishment focused. His open hostility towards progressive Democrats – along with a record of slash-and-burn campaign tactics – will not endear Newsom to the grassroots, and threatens to undermine the image the Mayor has worked hard to convey. Liberals are already disillusioned with the choices next year between Newsom and Brown, and this development can only fuel the desire to see a third candidate jump in the race.