Capitol Alert

Gavin Newsom ‘loves’ Sacramento, but maybe not enough to live there

Will the man who once dismissed Sacramento as “just so dull” move to the capital as the next governor of California?

He still needs to talk it over with his wife, Gov.-elect Gavin Newsom said Saturday, following a campaign rally in Irvine.

“We have four kids in school, and so all these things, honestly, I really haven’t gotten my arms around it,” said Newsom, who currently lives in Marin County. “It’s such a high-class issue for me to deal with, and to the extent it’s perceived as a logistical problem with kids in school, it’s one I look forward to addressing and I will do so very quickly.”

Gov. Jerry Brown, after returning to office, oversaw a multimillion-dollar renovation of the historic Governor’s Mansion in downtown Sacramento, which had not housed a California executive since Ronald Reagan in 1967. Brown moved in at the end of 2015, and has hosted occasional public events there, such as trick-or-treating.

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During a campaign stop at UC Davis in June, Newsom and his wife, Jennifer Siebel Newsom, said they would “love” to live in the mansion if he wins. But Newsom was less effusive about the idea on Saturday.

“She hasn’t even been in there. And I’ve only been in the first floor,” he said.

Newsom suggested it’s no longer essential for California’s governor to be based out of Sacramento, even if that’s where the policymaking happens.

“Those relationships are not formed in Sacramento as much as they’re formed in the districts,” he said of working with the Legislature.

“The old construct that you’re stuck in some office in a state Capitol is rather absurd,” he said. “This is not a desk job.”

Nevertheless, Newsom is much nicer these days about the city. In 2012, at a taping of his former Current TV program, a Sacramento Bee reporter overheard Newsom admit that he spent “like one day a week, tops” in Sacramento, because “there’s no reason.”

“I love Sacramento,” Newsom said on Saturday. “I’m there all the time.”

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