Gavin Newsom

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Gavin Newsom
Gavin Newsom.jpg
Lieutenant Governor of California
In office
January 10, 2011 - Present
Term ends
January 5, 2015
Years in position 4
PredecessorAbel Maldonado (R)
Base salary$130,490
Elections and appointments
First electedNovember 2, 2010
Next generalNovember 4, 2014
Term limits2 terms
Prior offices
Mayor of San Francisco
2004 - 2011
Bachelor'sSanta Clara University
Office website
Personal website
Campaign website
Gavin Newsom is the 49th and current Lieutenant Governor of California and the former mayor of San Francisco. A Democrat, he was first elected lieutenant governor in 2010 and plans to run for re-election in 2014.[1]

A January 2013 article in Governing named Newsom as one of the top state Democratic officials to watch in 2013.[2]


Newsom attended Santa Clara University for his undergraduate degree in Political Science. He graduated in 1989 and launched a business career. He founded and ran PlumbJack, a wine shop that grew into a network of 15 businesses.[1] His professional experience also includes work in orthotics sales and real estate.

Before running for Mayor of San Francisco, Newsom was a member of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors from 1998 to 2004 and sat on the city's Parking and Traffic Commission from 1996 to 1998.[3]


  • Bachelor's degree, Political Science from Santa Clara University (1989)

Political career

California Lieutenant Governor (2011-present)

Newsom is the 49th Lieutenant Governor of California, elected in 2010. He assumed office on January 10, 2011, electing not to be sworn in on January 3 along with California's other state executive officers.[4] He will be up for re-election, if he chooses to run, in November 2014, and his term will end in January of the following year.

Marijuana legalization

On April 13, 2013 at the California Democratic Party convention, Newsom called for the legalization of marijuana, saying the war on drugs was "an abject failure." He stated, “It’s time to decriminalize, tax, and regulate marijuana.”[5]

Mayor of San Francisco (2004-2010)

Before becoming lieutenant governor, Newsom served from 2004 to 2010 as mayor of San Francisco.

Constitutional convention

Main article: California constitutional convention

Newsom has supported the idea of having a constitutional convention to alter the California Constitution. He would like such a convention to "repeal the two-thirds vote requirement to pass a budget so California won't have to issue IOUs." [6]

San Francisco ballot measures

During his time as Mayor of San Francisco, Newsom was frequently involved in advocating for or against policy-setting ballot measures on the San Francisco ballot.

Proposition L (2010)

See also: San Francisco Sit-Lie Ordinance, Proposition L (November 2010)

Proposition L was on the November 2, 2010 ballot, where it was approved. Known as the "Sit-Lie Ordinance", it restricts sitting or lying on sidewalks citywide from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m.

Newsom was Proposition L's main sponsor and cheerleader.[7]

According to the San Francisco Chronicle:

"Outgoing San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom has moved more homeless people into supportive housing in his seven years in office than any other mayor in the city's history - and has one of the best track records of any mayor in the country on that score...'In terms of housing homeless people, he probably has the best record of any mayor in the history of the United States,' said Randy Shaw, who runs the Tenderloin Housing Clinic and operates many of Newsom's hotels for formerly homeless people."[7]

A different view came from Jennifer Friedenbach, director of the Coalition on Homelessness, who says that Newsom's tenure as mayor of San Francisco would be best remembered for his promotion of "mean-spirited ballot measures": "He's promoted hatred against homeless people. It's an endless list of divisive policies."[7]

Measure H (2008)

See also: San Francisco No Campaign Contributions from City Vendors Measure H (June 2008)

Newsom wrote Measure H, which was approved by San Francisco voters on June 3, 2008. Measure H prohibits local politicians from accepting campaign contributions from vendors who do business with the city and county of San Francisco. However, Measure H does not prohibit San Francisco politicians who ran for higher office from accepting contributions from corporations and developers who have business with the City of San Francisco, and Newsom, in his gubernatorial campaign, accepted donations from numerous groups and individuals who had business with the city.[8]

Examples of these donations included:

  • Ben Silverman gave more than $40,000 to Newsom's gubernatorial campaign between December 2008 and June 2009. Silverman was the co-chairman of NBC Universal Entertainment during that 7-month period. In those same months, Newsom's mayoral office "was successfully fighting the Board of Supervisors to get the NBC show "Trauma" a city tax rebate for filming in the city." Newsom's wife, actress Jennifer Siebel Newsom, was also given a part in Trauma's pilot episode.[8]
  • Developer Simon Snellgrove gave a donation to Newsom's gubernatorial campaign. Snellgrove owns the purchase rights to the 2.5-acre Golden Gateway Tennis and Swim Club on the northern waterfront, and planned to develop it into a luxury condominium project. His plans would require city and, ultimately, mayoral approval.[8]
  • A restaurant owner "who benefited from a mayoral veto to get around zoning regulations" subsequently gave money to Newsom's gubernatorial campaign.
  • The president of Levi's gave money to Newsom's gubernatorial campaign during a period in which Newsom's mayoral office was finding ways to persuade the company to stay in the city/[8]
  • The Deputy Sheriffs' Association gave money to Newsom's gubernatorial campaign shortly before it entered into contract negotiations with the City of San Francisco.[8]
  • The president of AT&T gave money to Newsom's gubernatorial campaign. AT&T has multiple contracts with the City of San Francisco.[8]



See also: California lieutenant gubernatorial election, 2014

Newsom filed a "Statement of Intention" with the secretary of state to run for re-election as Lieutenant Governor of California in 2014. [9]


See also: California lieutenant gubernatorial election, 2010

General election

On November 2, 2010, Newsom defeated six challengers in the general election for the office of lieutenant governor. California elects its lieutenant governor separately from the governor.[10] Newsom originally entered the race for Governor of California, withdrawing from that race on October 30, 2009.
2010 California lieutenant gubernatorial general election
Party Candidate Vote Percentage
     Democratic Party Approveda Gavin Newsom 50.12%
     Republican Party Abel Maldonado 39.94%
     Green Party James Castillo 1.67%
     Libertarian Party Pamela J. Brown 5.86%
     American Independent Party Jim King 1.88%
     Peace and Freedom Party C.T. Weber 1.19%
     NP Karen England 0.36%
Total Votes 9,813,130

Primary election

Newsom won the Democratic primary race with 55% of the vote.
2010 Race for Lieutenant Governor - Democrat Primary[11]
Candidates Percentage
Janice Hahn (D) 33.3%
Green check mark.jpg Gavin Newsom (D) 55.8%
Eric Korevaar (D) 10.9%
Total votes 2,346,324

Campaign donors

Ballotpedia collects information on campaign donors for each year in which a candidate or incumbent is running for election. The following table offers a breakdown of Gavin Newsom's donors each year.[12] Click [show] for more information.


Newsom has a wife, Jennifer, and one child, named Montana.[3]

Recent news

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See also

External links

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Political offices
Preceded by
Abel Maldonado (R)
Lieutenant Governor of California
2011 - present
Succeeded by