The race for California’s next governor will be between Gavin Newsom, the current Democratic lieutenant governor and former mayor of San Francisco, and John Cox, a Republican businessman backed by President Donald Trump.
With around 73 percent of precincts reporting, Newsom won with 33 percent, or nearly 1.2 million votes, and Cox came in second at 26 percent, ensuring the Republican party would not be shut out of the governor’s ballot, according to The New York Times election tracker.
Under California’s so-called jungle primary system, the two candidates who get the most votes in the primary appear on the general ballot, regardless of party affiliation.
In third place with 13 percent of the vote was former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, an early favorite among the Democrats for his strong opposition to President Donald Trump and support for sanctuary cities and immigrant rights.
“It looks like voters will have a real choice this November — between a governor who is going to stand up to Donald Trump and a foot soldier in his war on California,” Newsom told a crowd of supporters in San Francisco Tuesday. (RELATED: Gavin Newsom Tweets About Gun Control While Police Search For Dallas Shooter)
Cox, who describes himself as a businessman like Trump, promised to “the truth about the mismanagement of this state,” the Sacramento Bee reports. As current lieutenant governor, Newsom will be Cox’s chief target, and he plans to campaign on the highly unpopular California gas tax.
“Frankly, there’s a lot of Democrats that are going to vote for me because they’re disgusted with the cost of housing, they’re disgusted with the homeless population, they’re disgusted with the state of the roads,” Cox said.
While Cox is running on a sort of Make California Great Again platform, he wasn’t always a Trump supporter. In fact, he voted for libertarian candidate Gary Johnson in 2016 — but now says that was a mistake.
Cox got Trump’s endorsement in a May tweet, as well as a primary day get out the vote message from the president. “He’ll Make California Great Again!” Trump wrote in May.
California has a rare opportunity to turn things around and solve its high crime, high tax, problems – along with so many others. On June 5th., vote for GOP Gubernatorial Candidate JOHN COX, a really good and highly competent man. He’ll Make California Great Again!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 28, 2018
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