Capitol Alert

‘I wish I was his son,’ Gavin Newsom jokes of Jerry Brown

Gavin Newsom speaks at Democratic National Convention

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Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, who began raising money for his gubernatorial campaign more than three years before the 2018 election, was lamenting the “ridiculous” cost of advertising in California when he came to the name of one politician who could start raising money late and still beat a billionaire: Gov. Jerry Brown.

“That’s an advantage to self-funders, because you don’t have to spend four years raising the money,” Newsom said at a breakfast Thursday hosted by Politico. “The rest of us do, unless your last name’s Brown and you’ve got $100 million of name ID.”

Brown, the son of a former governor, Edmund G. “Pat” Brown, has benefited from his family name since he first ran for governor, in 1974.

“If he had a son,” Newsom said, “he’d probably be running. Or a daughter.”

Newsom’s family is less well known. But it is hardly anonymous – and it holds longstanding ties to Brown. Brown appointed Newsom’s father, William, a retired appellate court justice, to the bench, and there is a photograph of Gavin Newsom as a child at Brown’s desk.

“I wish I was his son,” Newsom said on the final day of the Democratic National Convention. “We would have a tradition here.”

To chants of "Jerry, Jerry," Gov. Brown speaks in Philadelphia on day 3 of the Democratic National Convention.

David Siders: 916-321-1215, @davidsiders