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Essential California: Primary preview

Essential California: Primary preview
Gavin Newsom, left, and Antonio Villaraigosa are among those vying to be California's next governor. (Tony Avelar / Associated Press, Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times)

Good morning, and welcome to the Essential California newsletter. It’s Monday, June 4, and here’s what’s happening across California:



The California primary election is Tuesday, and it’s down to the wire for the candidates for governor. Los Angeles Times

-- As the youthful mayor of San Francisco, Gavin Newsom quickly rose to national prominence with his push to legalize same-sex marriage in 2004. A year later, Antonio Villaraigosa personified the long-awaited rise of Latino political power when he took office as mayor of Los Angeles. Each Democratic politician took on some of the most intractable issues confronting their cities with such an abundance of confidence and affinity for the spotlight that their showdown for California governor seemed all but inevitable, even as Republican John Cox threatens to overtake Villaraigosa for the No. 2 spot. Los Angeles Times

-- Both leading Democratic candidates have tabloid pasts. New York Times

-- How the governor’s race might end up hurting Democrats in their efforts to retake the House. Wall Street Journal

-- Once an afterthought, Riverside and San Bernardino counties are now pivotal swing districts in California’s 2018 race for governor, with a closely divided and largely working-class electorate that, for candidates, is highly coveted and maddeningly unpredictable. Los Angeles Times

-- Welcome to the “jungle primary.” Washington Post

-- There are a lot of factors that make California’s primary a potential font of surprises, not least the state’s unique primary system, in which the top two vote-getters advance to the November runoff regardless of party. Here is a preview of the potential scenarios. Los Angeles Times

-- There is one safe prediction about this election week in California: The time it takes to count ballots will be criticized and lampooned as government at its worst, an unacceptable anachronism in a world that now expects instant results. Los Angeles Times

-- California’s resistance is showing signs of serious divisions. New York Times

-- Six California races to watch. Sacramento Bee

-- Lots of misleading TV ads. Sacramento Bee

-- San Francisco: Housing is the big-ticket item in the mayor’s race. San Francisco Chronicle

-- San Diego: Is that long-promised “blue wave” finally coming? San Diego Union-Tribune

-- Orange County: A GOP civil war with Russian overtones. CNN


-- Central Valley: Rep. Devin Nunes seeks reelection as the ultimate President Trump surrogate. Fresno Bee

-- Recall effort: A campaign to oust a judge who gave a lenient sentence in a high-profile Stanford University sexual assault case has pitted feminists against feminists and divided the liberal Democratic community in Santa Clara County. Los Angeles Times

People walk toward the Ferry Building on Market Street after the 1906 San Francisco earthquake.
People walk toward the Ferry Building on Market Street after the 1906 San Francisco earthquake. (Library of Congress)


Patients’ stories: The painful stories of USC alumnae describing their experiences over nearly three decades with the longtime campus gynecologist accused of misconduct. Los Angeles Times

The Big One: When a catastrophic earthquake hits California, buildings will topple and potentially hundreds could be killed. But what gets less attention is the wrenching aftermath of such a huge temblor, which could leave whole neighborhoods torched by fires uninhabitable and hundreds of thousands of people without a home. Los Angeles Times

Hoity-toity: Why L.A.’s hotel boom is mostly a luxury hotel boom. Los Angeles Times

Fifty years: A onetime Ambassador Hotel busboy reflects on Robert Kennedy and what has come after his assassination in 1968. Los Angeles Times



Existential question: PG&E’s survival might hinge on whether authorities find its lines responsible for the wine country fires. San Francisco Chronicle

Searching for answers: Years later, they are still asking what drove a 15-year-old to shoot and kill at Santana High School. Wall Street Journal

Ugly history: The Zoot Suit Riots occurred 75 years ago, and marked a dark chapter for L.A. San Gabriel Valley Tribune


Historic signing: At Yosemite, Native Americans have made a formal return decades after the last of their villages was destroyed. Fresno Bee

What could go wrong? Need some extra money? Soon you might be able to sell your DNA. San Diego Union-Tribune

In Ojai: For this composer, cancer, among other things, haunts his work. New York Times

Preach it: Roseanne Barr, Samantha Bee and a debate among California pastors. New York Times

D’oh: Disneyland is putting some new limits on annual pass holders. Los Angeles Daily News


Los Angeles area: Sunny, 79, Monday. Partly cloudy, 75, Tuesday. San Diego: Mostly sunny, 70, Monday. Partly cloudy, 67, Tuesday. San Francisco area: Cloudy, 65, Monday. Mostly sunny, 64, Tuesday. Sacramento: Sunny, 90, Monday. Mostly sunny, 85. Tuesday. More weather is here.


This week’s birthdays for those who made a mark in California:

Actress and U.N. special envoy Angelina Jolie (June 4, 1975), Snap Inc. cofounder Evan Spiegel (June 4, 1990), developer and philanthropist Eli Broad (June 6, 1933), Rep. Ken Calvert (June 8, 1953) and USC men’s basketball coach Andy Enfield (June 8, 1969).