Gov. Gavin Newsom and his family in Halloween costumes. Image from the Governor’s Instagram feed

Gov. Gavin Newsom said Tuesday he canceled a long planned trip to the international climate conference to spend Halloween with his children.

Newsom told former advisor Lenny Mendonca during a livestreamed interview from the 2021 California Economic Summit in Monterey that the decision came after a family dinner.

“The kids, literally, they kind of had an intervention. They couldn’t believe that I was going to miss Halloween,” Newsom said.

He said he insisted to his four children aged 5 to 12 that the trip to Scotland was important, but decided differently the next morning,

“I woke up that next morning with something that’s probably familiar to a lot of parents — that knot in the stomach … I had to cancel that trip.”

He bought a costume, took his children trick-or-treating, and brought them to the Capitol, where Senate President Pro Tem Toni Atkins from San Diego gave them coloring books when they visited her office.

Newsom noted that his time as governor has been a “treadmill” going from “crisis to crisis,” including wildfires, drought, COVID-19 and the recall election. So the week out of public view turned out to be a very welcome opportunity to focus on important issues.

“It’s been probably the most productive week I’ve had since I’ve been governor,” he said.

But the two-week period fed a national rumor mill, with news sites posting articles speculating about the reason for his absence from public appearances.

When Mendonca noted that the Governor hadn’t in fact been “abducted by aliens,” Newsom suggested “we’d all do well taking some time away from social media.”

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Chris Jennewein

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.