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197 posts
  • Governor's race
  • 2018 election
  • California Democrats
Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom campaigns at Greater Zion Church Family church in Compton on Sunday.
Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom campaigns at Greater Zion Church Family church in Compton on Sunday. (Jay Clendenin/Los Angeles Times)

Gubernatorial front-runner Gavin Newsom visited African American churches Sunday morning, greeting worshipers, clapping along as gospel choirs sang and invoking Martin Luther King Jr. as he spoke of the economic divide in California.

“The Bible teaches us many things, but nothing more important to me than this: The Bible teaches us we are many parts but one body, and when one part suffers, we all suffer,” Newsom told worshipers at the Greater Zion Church Family in Compton, drawing shouts of “Amen!” from the pews.

The lieutenant governor noted that eight million Californians, including two million children, live beneath the poverty line. 

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  • Governor's race
  • 2018 election
  • California Democrats
Antonio Villaraigosa, the former mayor of Los Angeles, speaks with students from Hayward's Tennyson High School in San Francisco.
Antonio Villaraigosa, the former mayor of Los Angeles, speaks with students from Hayward's Tennyson High School in San Francisco. (Marcio Jose Sanchez / Associated Press)

Wealthy supporters of Antonio Villaraigosa reported Saturday spending an additional $1.7 million to oppose Gavin Newsom, bringing their total efforts against the Democratic front-runner to more than $4 million in less than one week, according to campaign finance reports filed with the state.

The money was spent by the independent political committee called Families & Teachers for Antonio Villaraigosa for Governor 2018, funded largely by more than a dozen billionaires and multimillionaires who back charter schools and oppose the agenda of teachers unions. In all, the group has raised roughly $23 million.

The bulk of the money — $16.5 million — was initially spent promoting Villaraigosa’s candidacy. The committee also spent $1.9 million opposing Republican candidate John Cox, whom Villaraigosa is battling for second place in the June 5 top-two primary, and $241,000 to support Republican Travis Allen, part of an effort to divide the GOP vote and boost Villaraigosa’s chances of advancing to the November runoff.

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  • 2018 election
Pat Harris
Pat Harris (Emma McIntyre / Getty Images)

Sen. Dianne Feinstein is expected to get through Tuesday’s primary without trouble, and polls say fellow Democratic state Sen. Kevin de León is the most likely to grab second place and become her opponent on the November ballot.

But several recent surveys have shown other candidates with some support in the crowded field of 32.

In the latest, a Berkeley IGS poll released on Friday, Feinstein was favored by 36% of likely voters, while De León was in second with 11%. Republican James P. Bradley was close behind, though, with 7%. And about 25% of voters were undecided.

  • Politics podcast

After months of campaign events and millions of dollars’ worth of TV ads, decision day is close at hand in California’s statewide primary.

On this week’s episode of the California Politics Podcast, we take one last look at the races for governor and U.S. Senate. And, as with all political discussions this year, a key part of what to watch is the impact of the top-two primary.

John Chiang greets the audience at a rally in Sacramento.
John Chiang greets the audience at a rally in Sacramento. (Melanie Mason / Los Angeles Times)

Democratic gubernatorial hopefuls John Chiang and Delaine Eastin tried to imbue their runs with greater symbolic meaning in speeches at a women’s rally Friday evening, framing their campaigns as a strike against President Trump and a bid for women’s equality, respectively.

Speaking on the Capitol steps to a crowd of several dozen gathered for a preelection rally from the local chapter of the Women’s March, both candidates tailored their pitches to the predominantly female crowd.

Chiang, the state treasurer, told the audience that in Tuesday’s primary election, California voters will “send a powerful and clear signal back to Washington, D.C., that we're standing up to President Trump.”

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  • Governor's race
  • 2018 election
  • California Republicans
  • California Democrats

Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom made clear to a Central Valley audience Friday which candidate in the race for governor is President Trump's choice to lead California: John Cox.

“As a Democrat that’s running against 26 other people, we’ll see who we end up with. If it’s a Republican, it’s likely to be Donald Trump’s handpicked candidate, John Cox,” Newsom said in front of television cameras after hosting an economic roundtable with union leaders and members in Bakersfield. “Donald Trump twice tweeted in favor of John Cox.”

His campaign has been trying to boost Cox over Democratic rival Antonio Villaraigosa. If the Rancho Santa Fe Republican gets the second spot in the June 5 primary, as several recent polls suggest he will, Cox will move on to face Newsom in the general election, greatly increasing the likelihood that Newsom will win in November.

  • 2018 election
Delaine Eastin speaks at a community forum at First African Methodist Episcopal Church in Los Angeles.
Delaine Eastin speaks at a community forum at First African Methodist Episcopal Church in Los Angeles. (Michael Livingston / Los Angeles Times)

In one of her last appearances before California’s June 5 primary, longshot Democratic candidate Delaine Eastin criticized Gov. Jerry Brown’s record on children’s education.

“He has not been a supporter of preschool,” Eastin said at a community discussion held Friday afternoon at First African Methodist Episcopal Church in Los Angeles.

Eastin said that when Brown vetoed a bill mandating kindergarten in 2014, he set California children back on education. 

  • Ballot measures
  • 2018 election
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti at an April rally endorsing an initiative that would allow for the expansion of rent control
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti at an April rally endorsing an initiative that would allow for the expansion of rent control (Katie Falkenberg / Los Angeles Times)

A statewide lobbying group that represents landlords is supporting a cap on rent increases in an effort to stave off a ballot measure that would expand rent control across California.

The California Apartment Assn. says it’s OK with limiting annual rent hikes to the cost of inflation plus 5% alongside property tax breaks for apartment owners who covert residences to low-income rentals. UC Berkeley researchers proposed both ideas this week.

“We like the direction where there’s a combination of anti-price gouging with tax incentives,” said Debra Carlton, the association’s senior vice president of public affairs.

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  • 2018 election
  • California Republicans
Former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger delivers a speech during the R20 Austrian world summit in Vienna on May 15.
Former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger delivers a speech during the R20 Austrian world summit in Vienna on May 15. (Ronald Zak / Associated Press)

Arnold Schwarzenegger, who once famously warned Republicans that they were “dying at the box office,” has decided not to support either of the leading GOP candidates for California governor, a spokesman said on Friday.

The former governor’s decision to speak out against the candidacies of John Cox, a Rancho Sante Fe businessman, and Travis Allen, an Orange County legislator, stands in sharp contrast to his past refusals to weigh in on those who have followed him into office.

“They will not get his vote,” said spokesman Daniel Ketchell.

  • 2018 election
Democratic candidates for lieutenant governor, Eleni Kounalakis, standing, and Jeffrey Bleich, far left, are former Obama officials.
Democratic candidates for lieutenant governor, Eleni Kounalakis, standing, and Jeffrey Bleich, far left, are former Obama officials. (Steve Yeater / Associated Press)

Obama administration aides are activating their network to help former colleagues running for office, including eight candidates in California.

The Obama Alumni Assn. sent an email to members this week with a list of all candidates on the ballot and urging them to take action.

“They need your help,” the email reads. “Ask your regional or constituency Obama alumni organization to get involved ... now is the time to donate, spread the word, ask your friends in these states to vote.”