Despite years of espousing San Francisco values, Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom has moved from his 3.5-bedroom Ashbury Heights home to a more spacious estate in the wealthy Marin County enclave of Ross.
The move is a temporary one “in anticipation of their new arrival,” according to Newsom’s spokesman, Francisco Castillo. Newsom’s wife, Jennifer Siebel Newsom, is expecting a second child and the family is reportedly moving to her parents’ estate.
Siebel Newsom grew up in Ross and attended The Branson School, a prestigious private school with a $35,000 a year tuition. She moved to San Francisco after marrying Newsom when he was still mayor, and the family soon had feces smeared outside their home. Later, Newsom would complain about people openly smoking crack cocaine in front of his daughter.
And it’s hard to blame the former mayor for making the decision, because he’s not alone. During his tenure as a supervisor and mayor, at least between 2000 and 2010 when the latest census numbers are available, the number of children in San Francisco decreased by 5,278. One of the families that moved during that period belonged to Newsom’s longtime rival, former Supervisor Chris Daly, who purchased properties in the suburb of Fairfield in 2009.
But maybe there’s more to the move than having a place to park his Tesla and a big yard for the munchkins to run around in.
Rep. Lynn Woolsey, who represents Marin County in Washington, D.C., could be announcing her retirement this month, so there may be some political design after all.
“She’s still making her decision and is expected to make an announcement, either way, this month,” said a spokesman for Woolsey, Bart Acocella.
Congressional seats don’t open up very often in the Bay Area, and if Newsom could win the 6th District, he would have a job for life, said a former consultant for Newsom, Jim Ross.
Newsom is young, so he could build up seniority over time, Ross said. If he does a good job on the national level, Newsom could eventually run for the Senate after Barbara Boxer or Dianne Feinstein call it quits.
“Plus, he has the ability to raise money,” Ross said. “The ability to raise money gives you power.”
But another former Newsom strategist pooh-poohed that notion. Eric Jaye, who parted ways with Newsom during his bid for California governor, said Newsom’s move to Marin is hardly news, in the real estate section or in politics.
“His aspirations are, and certainly should be, loftier than that,” Jaye said of a possible congressional run.
Here are some of the more famous folks who call Marin County home:
James Hetfield, Metallica singer and guitarist
Sammy Hagar, musician and restaurateur
Phil Lesh, Grateful Dead bass player
George Lucas, filmmaker
Dana Carvey, comedian
Here is a demographic profile of Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom’s new hometown:
2,415 Total population of Ross
2,335 White people who live in Ross
8 Black people who live in Ross
72 Members of other ethnicities who live in Ross
Source: U.S. Census Bureau
This story was corrected Thursday, June 9, 2011. The original story said Phil Lesh was the Grateful Dead's drummer. Phil Lesh played bass for the Grateful Dead.