Welcome to your guide to the 2018 California governor’s race. The general election is Nov. 6. Campaigning is underway for the June 5 primary, and these are the best-known candidates in the race.
Top jobs: Three-term Republican assemblyman from Orange County, first elected in 2012.
Biggest controversy: Widely criticized for claiming that a recent California law would “legalize” child prostitution.
Particulars: Allen, 44, lives in Huntington Beach with his wife, Arielle, and their 8-year-old daughter. He is a graduate of Cal State Long Beach.
As a member of the California Legislature’s Republican minority, Allen has earned a reputation as an outspoken conservative who invites controversy. Allen proudly boasts of voting for Trump in 2016.
He came under fire in December after writing an opinion article in the Washington Examiner with the headline “California Democrats legalize childhood prostitution” — an allegation that created a national stir. Travis was referring to a new law that decriminalized prostitution for minors, allowing law enforcement officers to treat minors as victims of sex trafficking rather than offenders.
In May, Allen launched a drive for a ballot measure to repeal new gas taxes and vehicle fees, which polls show are unpopular with Californians. The increases, signed into law by Gov. Jerry Brown in April, would raise $5.2 billion annually for road repairs and mass transit.
Allen grew up in Chula Vista, where his father worked as an attorney and his mother served on the school board. Allen, an avid surfer, earned a degree in economics at Cal State Long Beach. He worked as a financial advisor for A.G. Edwards & Sons before launching his own firm.
Allen said he decided to run for the Assembly after watching friends, family members and clients move out of California because of rising taxes and the declining business climate he said was caused by Democratic policies.
Top jobs: Elected state treasurer in 2014 after two terms as state controller.
Biggest splash: Docked state legislators' pay for failing to pass a balanced budget on time.
Family tragedy: Chiang’s sister, Joyce, a government lawyer in Washington, was murdered in 1999.
Particulars: Chiang, 55, lives in Torrance. He graduated from the University of South Florida and Georgetown University Law Center. He is in the midst of a divorce proceeding and is separated from his wife.
Chiang has been elected to statewide office three times: twice as controller and once as treasurer in 2014.
The eldest son of Taiwanese immigrants, Chiang grew up in Chicago and New York and moved west after earning his law degree. He worked for then-state Controller Gray Davis and U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer. In 1998, he won a seat on the state Board of Equalization, which oversees the collection of tens of billions of dollars in annual revenue. It was his first time in elected office.
As controller, Chiang made headlines in 2011 when he decided to withhold state lawmakers' pay after they failed to produce a balanced spending plan by the June 15 deadline.
Two years earlier, Chiang also made news by refusing an order by then-Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger to furlough state workers three days a month amid the state budget crisis. The courts ultimately overruled Chiang, but his action made him a hero to organized labor.
FOR THE RECORD
Jan. 28: This article previously stated incorrectly that Chiang is divorced.
Top jobs: Attorney and certified public accountant in Chicago.
Particulars: Cox, 49, lives in Rancho Santa Fe and is married with four children. He is a graduate of the University of Illinois at Chicago and earned a law degree at Chicago Kent College at the Illinois Institute of Technology.
Top jobs: California superintendent of public instruction from 1995 to 2003. She served in the Assembly from 1986 to 1994, including as chairwoman of the Education Committee.
Biggest splash: The only woman elected as California superintendent of public instruction.
Particulars: Eastin, 70, lives in Davis. She earned a bachelor’s degree at UC Davis and a master’s degree at UC Santa Barbara. She is a Democrat.
Eastin began her career in politics as councilwoman in Union City on the east side of the San Francisco Bay and later served two terms as the state’s superintendent of public instruction. During her tenure, she was a vocal advocate for the state's class-size reduction law.
Eastin has been out of elected office since 2003. She is chairwoman of the board of Educate Our State, a nonprofit organization that advocates for California schools. She is also chairwoman of ClosetheGapCA, a political group that focused on electing more women to the Legislature in 2016.
Eastin said she believes that public school funding is no longer a top priority among politicians in Sacramento. She criticized them for failing to provide additional money for preschool and failing to adopt full-day kindergarten.
Zoltan Istvan Gyurko
Top jobs: Writer and real estate investor.
Biggest splash: Ran for president in 2016 as a Transhumanist Party candidate and rode around in a campaign bus shaped like a coffin.
Particulars: Istvan’s full name is Zoltan Istvan Gyurko. Istvan, 43, is a graduate of Columbia University with a degree in philosophy and religion. He lives in Mill Valley with his wife and two children.
Istvan announced his campaign in 2017 and is running as a Libertarian. He said his campaign will focus on the radical economic and lifestyle transformations being brought about by new technology and science, from the effects of driverless cars to genetic engineering.
During his run for president, Istvan campaigned on a platform that advocated for advances in science, health and technology to extend human life span and intellect. He also supports providing a state-funded “universal basic income” for all Californians.
Istvan said he was sentenced to probation in Idaho in 1993 after he was arrested for possession of marijuana. He was 18 at the time.
Top jobs: California’s lieutenant governor since 2011. Mayor of San Francisco for two terms, from 2004 to 2011.
Biggest splash: Newsom, a Democrat, created a national firestorm as San Francisco mayor in 2004 when he ordered the city to issue same-sex marriage licenses.
Baggage: While mayor, he had an affair with his campaign manager's wife.
Particulars: Newsom, 50, lives in Marin County with his wife and four children. He is a graduate of Santa Clara University.
He launched his campaign for governor in February 2015.
Newsom ran for governor in the 2010 election but dropped out of the race after the entry of Democratic rival Jerry Brown, who went on to win. He ran for the lower-profile lieutenant governor's office instead and is now serving his second term.
Newsom gained national attention as mayor of San Francisco in 2004 when he directed the city to begin issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples. That was a catalyst for a nationwide political wrangle over the issue that ended when the U.S. Supreme Court affirmed the right of gays to marry in 2015.
The Central Valley native worked as an economic policy advisor for Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California before serving as chief of staff to Stabenow.
After her unsuccessful bid to oust Valadao, her only prior run for public office, Renteria became the political director of Clinton’s historic presidential campaign, which ended with a surprise loss to Republican Donald Trump.
Before entering politics, Renteria worked as a math teacher in the Central Valley and later as a budget analyst for the city of San Jose. While at Stanford she played third base for the softball team and also walked on to the women’s basketball team.
Top jobs: Los Angeles mayor for two terms, from 2005 to 2013. Speaker of the state Assembly from 1998 to 2000.
Making history: Elected as L.A.’s first Latino mayor since 1872.
Baggage: While mayor, he had an extramarital affair with a local television reporter.
Particulars: Villaraigosa, 65, lives in Los Angeles. He is married to his second wife, has four children and is a UCLA graduate.
When he announced his bid for governor, Villaraigosa said the focus for his campaign would be education, poverty and Californians left behind in the “new economy.”
Villaraigosa, a Democrat, served as mayor of Los Angeles for eight years. During his tenure, the city struggled to cope with plummeting revenues amid the nation’s economic downturn. He wrestled for concessions from public employee unions that were necessary, in part, because of raises that Villaraigosa had approved before the recession hit.
Villaraigosa successfully led the campaign for Measure R, a $35-billion transportation package passed by voters in 2008 that imposed a countywide half-cent sales tax. The measure is credited with reshaping the region's notoriously inefficient transit system. Under his watch, the city also hired hundreds of new police officers and violent crime plummeted.
He considered a run for governor in 2010, as well as a U.S. Senate bid after Barbara Boxer announced her retirement. He eventually decided against both.