5 things to know about Gavin Newsom

The California governor the coronavirus response in his state

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California Gov. Gavin Newsom leads the state with the biggest economy in the United States.

California is also one of the states hardest hit by the coronavirus. Newsom began loosening his state's stay-at-home order in late April even as California's coronavirus cases numbered well above 30,000.

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He recently allowed scheduled surgeries to resume, but he has warned the state’s nearly 40 million residents that he understands the desire to get back to work and reclaim a sense of normalcy, but lifting the orders too soon would be a public health mistake.

“This phase is one where science, public health — not politics — must be the guide, where we must be open to argument, interested in evidence, where we cannot be ideological in any way shape or form,” Newsom said.

Gov. Gavin Newsom updates the state's response to the coronavirus at the Governor's Office of Emergency Services in Rancho Cordova, Calif., Monday, March 23, 2020. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli, Pool)

Newsom, a Democrat, hasn't shied away from thanking President Trump during the pandemic.

"Our relationship began earlier than most and so from that perspective, all I can say is from my perspective, the relationship has been strong. And I'm not doing it to kiss the ring, I'm not doing it in a way that ... I've just been forthright with the president. He returns calls, he reaches out, he's been proactive," Newsom said on "The View" in early April.

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Here are five things to know about 52-year-old Newsom:

1. He rose to prominence as mayor of San Francisco.

Newsom became mayor of San Francisco in 2004.  He was born in the city in 1967, and he's a fourth-generation San Franciscan.

He served as mayor until 2011, when he became California's lieutenant governor under former Gov. Jerry Brown.

From left, L.A. City Councilman Mike Bonin, California Governor Gavin Newsom and L.A. City Mayor Eric Garcetti tour a burned home along Tigertail Road in Brentwood, Calif., Tuesday Oct. 29, 2019. (Wally Skalij/Los Angeles Times via AP, Pool)

2. He has a background in business.

After graduating from Santa Clara University, Newsom founded the PlumpJack Group, which specializes in wineries, hotels and eateries, with the help of billionaire Gordon Getty.

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3. He's an author.

Newsom published "Citizenville: How to Take the Town Square Digital and Reinvent Government" in 2013. The book is described as "a rallying cry for revolutionizing democracy in the digital age."

California's Democratic gubernatorial candidate Gavin Newsom and his family waves to supporters from stage at his election night watch party in Los Angeles, California on November 6, 2018. (FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP via Getty Images)

4. He and his wife Jennifer Siebel Newsom have four children

A blind date in 2006 led to lasting love for California's first couple, according to SFGate. The governor and his wife have four kids: Montana, Hunter, Brooklynn and Dutch.

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5. He grew up with a pet otter.

Newsom always has an icebreaker when visiting elementary schools: He tells kids about his first pet, Potter the Otter. Newsom told an elementary class about Potter's penchant for sleeping in his bed in 2019.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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