Election 2018: Newsom and Cox battle for California

Lt. Governor takes on businessman in general election

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In the 2018 midterm elections, voters in California will elect a candidate to succeed Jerry Brown as governor in addition to deciding on propositions crucial to the future of the state.

The two candidates running to replace Gov. Brown are the current Lt. Gov., Gavin Newsom (Democrat) and businessman John Cox (Republican).

While Newsom seemed to be a sure-in to make it to the general elections, many were surprised to see John Cox perform so well in the primaries.

California currently operates under a unique “jungle primary” system, which means that the top two performers in the primary, regardless of their political affiliation, face off in the general election.

Given the current liberal political culture in California, it wouldn’t have surprised many if the state saw two Democrats face off against each other in the general election. Alas, it was not meant to be.

While Gavin Newsom leads John Cox in almost every poll, voters should know after living through Donald Trump’s shocking upset of Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential election that the polls are not always a reliable measure or reflection of how citizens really feel.

When asked who he’ll be supporting this election, SJCC student Bryan Rapp said, “John Cox because I think Gavin Newsom will turn the rest of California into San Francisco. I also don’t want taxes to be raised and I would support repealing the gas tax, which John Cox says he would do.”

The two candidates have sparred over a variety of issues throughout the course of the campaign and most recently during the only gubernatorial debate at KQED Public Radio Station on Oct. 8, 2018.

Among the topics that the candidates have debated one another over are the expensive cost of living in California, environmental regulations and criminal justice, to name a few.

The biggest aspect of the platform Cox is running on has been to blame Newsom and the liberal policies he supports for the high cost of living in the state. He also blamed California’s rising costs on special interest groups, describing those groups as, “environmental groups that fund the Legislature as well as Gavin’s campaign,” in the KQED debate.

Crucial to the success of Cox in the primaries was the endorsement he received from President Trump, who is extremely popular amongst Republicans in California. Trump’s endorsement of Cox is something Newsom blasted his challenger on during their debate.

Despite their vastly different political ideologies, the two candidates were able to agree that affordable housing, homelessness and the state’s cost of living were all the most pressing issues facing the next governor, but they both presented extremely different solutions to those problems.

In an age where it feels like there is no more civility left in politics, the race between these two men has felt astonishingly civil. For the majority of the campaign, personal attacks between the two have been avoided and the issues that really matter have been debated.