Updated 6/6/2018: this article has been updated with the candidates’ percent approval once 100 percent of the precincts were reporting.
After Tuesday’s statewide primary election, two candidates will continue on in the race for California governor: Democrat Gavin Newsom and Republican John Cox.
Newsom entered the primary election as the clear front-runner, and he won with 33.4 percent of the vote. Early polls showed fellow Democrat Antonio Villaraigosa as most likely to snatch second place, but Cox gained significant traction in the months leading up to the primaries, according to recent polls. Cox won 26.2 percent of the vote.
Villaraigosa, Republican Travis Allen, and Democrat John Chiang secured third-, fourth- and fifth-place finishes in the primary election, with 13.5, 9.7 and 9 percent of the vote, respectively.
The last time a Republican secured the position of governor was in 2006, when Arnold Schwarzenegger beat out Democrat Phil Angelides.
Newsom’s background in California politics includes serving as the state’s lieutenant governor since 2011 and serving as mayor of San Francisco for two terms, from 2004 to 2011. As lieutenant governor, he has been conspicuously outspoken against the Trump administration, condemning President Donald Trump’s actions with regard to gun control and immigration. Newsom ran for governor on platforms rooted in support for marginalized communities in California.
If elected governor, Newsom will call on Congress to pass a clean Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors Act, strengthen workplace protections and work to ensure the right to health care for all, according to his official campaign website.
Newsom has received endorsements from several notable political figures, including U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris, U.S. Rep. Ro Khanna and California Secretary of State Alex Padilla.
I voted for @GavinNewsom because he’ll pick up where Governor Brown left off and fight back against the Administration’s attacks on our state and our values. Make sure you vote in today’s primary! pic.twitter.com/JcML1wWpXY
— Kamala Harris (@KamalaHarris) June 5, 2018
Cox’s first run in politics began in 1976, when he attempted to win a delegate position at the Democratic convention. According to his official campaign website, Cox has more than 35 years of experience in conservative politics, serving as former speaker of the house Newt Gingrich’s California finance chair, along with a position on Republican presidential candidate Jack Kemp’s national steering committee in the late 1980s.
Cox has founded both a law firm and an accounting firm. On his official campaign website, he says he is “a businessman, not a politician.” Cox’s platforms are grounded in a commitment to making California “affordable again for middle class families,” according to his website. If elected governor, Cox would work toward ending California’s status as a sanctuary state and repealing Gov. Jerry Brown’s $52 billion gas tax increase.
“It’s time to fight back, not by trying to out-spend and out-tax the Democrats, but by taking our government back,” Cox said on his website.
Cox’s most notable endorsement comes from Trump, who tweeted out his support for Cox just a month before the primary election.
The winner of the California gubernatorial race will be determined in general midterm elections Nov. 6.
Contact Harini Shyamsundar and Francesca Munsayac at [email protected].