FILE - In this June 3, 2004, file photo San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom, left, Gordon Getty, center, and Oakland Mayor Jerry Brown, right, enjoy a pre-dinner glass of wine during a hospitality event of the Napa Valley Wine Auction at the PlumpJack Winery in Oakville, Calif. Plumpjack was co-founded by Newsom with financial backing from Getty, the heir to an oil fortune. Newsom, the front-runner in the race for California governor, is adamant he won't sell his interests but otherwise is deferring decisions about how to handle potential conflicts until after the election. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg, File)

Newsom's California business holdings could pose ethics bind

October 28, 2018 - 1:31 pm

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Gavin Newsom is the favorite in California's governor's race, and if he's elected his extensive business holdings could present an ethics problem.

His company, PlumpJack Group, owns wineries, bars, restaurants, hotels and liquor stores that operate in California. Issues involving the hospitality industry often come before the governor.

Newsom is adamant he won't sell his interests but otherwise is deferring decisions about how to handle potential ethics conflicts until after the election.

The potential for blurred lines between business and government service has become especially resonant since President Donald Trump broke with tradition for U.S. presidents and chose not to divest from his extensive holdings.

Republican candidate John Cox also is a millionaire with extensive holdings, but his businesses operate outside California.