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Today: Trump’s Man in California

The California governor’s race will feature a Republican running against Democratic candidate Gavin Newsom after all.

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Trump’s Man in California

Not long ago, it seemed inevitable that two Democrats would be vying for California’s governorship in November. With Tuesday’s primary election, Gavin Newsom, the favorite of the Democratic Party’s liberal base, cemented his status as the front-runner. But the biggest story of the night was Republican businessman John Cox nabbing the No. 2 spot ahead of Democrat and former L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa. Cox spent nearly $5 million (and appeared to get some unlikely help from Newsom’s campaign), but the turning point may have been — what else? — the Twitter support of President Trump. Though Cox says he did not vote for Trump, he now supports him “100%.” Tuesday’s election also had controversy: Before he conceded, Villaraigosa called on elections officials to extend voting until Friday after reports that more than 118,000 voters were accidentally left off the rolls at L.A. County polling places.

California Republican gubernatorial candidate John Cox is greeted at the podium with a kiss from his wife, Sarah, before speaking at the U.S. Grant Hotel in San Diego.
California Republican gubernatorial candidate John Cox is greeted at the podium with a kiss from his wife, Sarah, before speaking at the U.S. Grant Hotel in San Diego. (Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)

Meanwhile, in the Congressional Races …

Cox’s advancement to the November election could also have an effect on Democrats’ efforts to retake the House, as it’s likely to energize GOP voter turnout. Even before the results of the governor’s race became clear, Democrats were nervously awaiting word whether their candidates would advance in some key races. As for the U.S. Senate race, Sen. Dianne Feinstein cruised to the general election, but who will her opponent be?

More From the California Primary

-- It may take a day or weeks for the final tallies. Get up-to-the-minute results on all the election results throughout the state here.

-- Four statewide ballot propositions passed, while an effort to control spending of funds collected through the state’s climate change program was defeated.

-- Among the seven statewide contests besides the governor’s race, incumbent Xavier Becerra took a big lead in early vote returns. He’ll face Republican Steven Bailey in the attorney general election.

-- In L.A. County, the early results also put incumbents in the lead for sheriff and two supervisor races.

-- Aaron Persky, the judge in the Brock Turner sexual assault case, was recalled.

-- And: Did you not bother to vote? Columnist Steve Lopez found plenty of voter apathy in a state that has screamed its political resistance loud and clear.

From Washington

-- After disinviting the Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles, Trump held a brief “Celebrate America” event at the White House and, in a moment that went viral, sang only part of the lyrics to “God Bless America.” He also appeared to challenge the NFL’s new policy about the national anthem. Meanwhile, NBA Finals opponents LeBron James and Stephen Curry say Trump shouldn’t bother inviting either of their teams when a champion is crowned.

-- Trump has sharply moderated his goals for next week’s nuclear summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, a shift shaped in large part by competing foreign policy camps in his inner circle.

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-- The labor market has hit a tipping point that should help boost wages: There are more job openings in the U.S. than unemployed workers to fill them.

He Feared the Dean Was ‘Doing Drugs’

A former vice dean of USC’s Keck School of Medicine has testified that he feared the school’s then-dean, Dr. Carmen A. Puliafito, “could be doing drugs” and expressed concerns about his general well-being to the university’s No. 2 administrator before Puliafito abruptly left his job in 2016. Dr. Henri Ford’s testimony at a hearing of the state Medical Board marks the first suggestion that any USC administrator had suspicions about Puliafito’s possible drug use before he stepped down.

A Fashion Icon’s Legacy

She was born Kate Brosnahan and two years ago changed her name to Kate Valentine, but it was as Kate Spade that she began a label in 1993 that dominated American fashion with colorful handbags, bold prints and cheerful sayings. On Tuesday, she was found dead in an apparent suicide at her Manhattan home. Her death has renewed discussions of mental health awareness.

MUST-WATCH VIDEO

-- How does Claire Danes, who portrays a former CIA agent, counterbalance the intensity of her TV series “Homeland”? Knit one, purl two.

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CALIFORNIA

-- An outside task force once headed by new L.A. Unified School District Supt. Austin Beutner says LAUSD is out of step with similar school systems, spending more on teachers’ pay and health benefits.

-- L.A. lawmakers agreed to pay up to $14 million to end three lawsuits after a driver plowed his car onto the Venice Beach boardwalk in 2013, killing one and injuring a dozen others. The suits accused the city of failing to install sufficient barriers.

-- A former Monterey Park police officer convicted of sexually assaulting three women during traffic stops has been sentenced to nearly eight years in prison and is required to register as a sex offender.

HOLLYWOOD AND THE ARTS

-- Casting the titular character of the film “A Kid Like Jake,” about a gender-nonconforming child, brought into focus some real-world issues.

-- Art critic Christopher Knight says the UCLA Hammer Museum’s much-anticipated biennial survey of new art, “Made in L.A. 2018,” is the right show for our disturbing times.

-- The Donald J. Trump Presidential Twitter Library, a creation of “The Daily Show With Trevor Noah,” is coming to Los Angeles on Friday.

-- Meanwhile, another traveling show, “The Jim Henson Exhibition: Imagination Unlimited,” has set up camp at the Skirball Cultural Center in Brentwood. It traces four decades of the Muppet creator’s career.

CLASSIC HOLLYWOOD

Twenty years ago today, “Sex and the City” premiered on HBO. Just how did the love lives of the Manhattan foursome of Carrie, Miranda, Charlotte and Samantha stack up over the show’s 94 episodes? This graphic breaks down every single person they dated.

NATION-WORLD

-- Disgraced film producer Harvey Weinstein has pleaded not guilty to charges stemming from a pair of alleged sexual assaults in New York City.

-- For the second time in barely a week, Richard Grenell, the new U.S. ambassador to Germany, has angered lawmakers there as well as in Washington with political statements critics called inappropriate.

-- Saudi Arabia has started giving driver’s licenses to women, but some of those who campaigned to drive are still in jail.

-- A study has found that for many lung cancer patients, the immunotherapy drug Keytruda is a better initial treatment than chemotherapy.

BUSINESS

-- What’s the scoop on Social Security and Medicare? Columnist Michael Hiltzik says much of the reporting you may have seen isn’t giving the full picture.

-- A vote at Tesla’s annual shareholder meeting to kick Elon Musk out of his chairman’s seat has failed.

-- Amazon’s first-look TV deal with Oscar winner Jordan Peele is among the highest-profile to date for the streaming service, which is trying to compete against the likes of Netflix.

SPORTS

-- Abner Mares says boxing saved him from gangs, drugs and the dangers of his neighborhood in Hawaiian Gardens. He’ll be fighting this weekend in a World Boxing Assn. featherweight title rematch against Leo Santa Cruz.

-- For the first time since April 24, the Dodgers do not own a losing record. With a 5-0 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates, the team pulled back to .500.

OPINION

-- “Swatting” David Hogg, the Parkland, Fla., shooting survivor turned anti-gun activist, wasn’t a “prank.” It was attempted manslaughter.

-- Columnist Gustavo Arellano says the Zoot Suit era is when white America learned to stereotype young Latinos as threats.

WHAT OUR EDITORS ARE READING

-- Scott Pruitt scandal du jour: trying to help his wife become a Chick-fil-A franchisee. (Washington Post)

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-- A reporter recalls interviewing Kate Spade while carrying a knockoff purse. (Vanity Fair)

-- The connection between Shakespeare and science in his works. (The New Atlantis)

ONLY IN L.A.

Marc Pritcher doesn’t own an electric piano, but he says he’s composed about 30 songs on one in the past five months. So where does he get his fix? Usually at a Guitar Center. Our reporter found him doing just that at the store in Sherman Oaks. Though the retailer of musical instruments has gone through some tough times, executives hope people like Pritcher will help it sing a new tune.

If you like this newsletter, please share it with friends. Comments or ideas? Email us at headlines@latimes.com.

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