Readers React: These readers aren’t surprised the L.A. Times endorsed Gavin Newsom, but they’re still disappointed

California Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom speaks to members of the San Francisco Homeless Outreach Team on Oct. 2.
(Josh Edelson / For the Times)

To the parts of the country that think of Californians as unthinking liberals spending their state into oblivion, prepare to be disappointed: The reaction by our letter writers to the Los Angeles Times Editorial Board’s endorsement of Democrat Gavin Newsom for governor can be best described as, “Ugh, not him.”

Newsom has been arguably the most visible, telegenic face of California’s ascendant progressive movement since he took over as lieutenant governor in 2011. It’s noteworthy, then, that only two of the letters we received in response to the endorsement reacted favorably to it — or perhaps it isn’t surprising at all, since readers who disagree with an article in The Times tend to write in greater numbers than those who agree.

Here is what some of those readers had to say about Gov. Jerry Brown’s likely successor.

Richard Joseph of Los Angeles was hoping The Times wouldn’t endorse either candidate:


I knew The Times would endorse Newsom, but I am still hugely disappointed in it anyway.

You admit to having reservations about his support for California’s troubled high-speed rail project and a single-payer universal healthcare plan. I would also mention Newsom’s failure to fix homelessness in San Francisco and that city’s ongoing housing crisis, among other problems.

The Times ends its endorsement by saying: “We hope he will buckle down in this job.” I was hoping against hope that The Times would have some spine, push back against its liberal impulse and at least not endorse either candidate, because God knows you won’t endorse a Republican for governor again in my lifetime.

Patrick Bright of Los Angeles brings up #MeToo:

In this #MeToo era, it’s strange that your endorsement of Newsom ignores his admitted sexual misbehavior with a subordinate while he was mayor.

Apparently, you choose to overlook the misdeeds of your liberal favorites. Shouldn’t you explain why? The political correctness crowd (that is, leftists) wants to know.

Irvine resident Harry Crowell doesn’t see Newsom’s extensive government experience as a plus:


When two people are vying for the same leadership position, they both have full resumes and lists of accomplishments.

Basically, Newsom has had many jobs in government, but what have been his real successes? In contrast, Republican candidate John Cox started out with only his skills, which he used to build his businesses and hire qualified people.

The secret to quality is hiring the most qualified people — and in this regard, Cox has proved his worth. Newsom, on the other hand, spouts that he has worked for 20 years in public office, and looking at all the waste in government, how can one even consider voting for him?

Lynn Lorenz of Newport Beach was one of the few readers to express enthusiastic support for the Democrat:

Kudos for your endorsement. Unfortunately, many people have been dismissing Newson as just another lightweight politician. They need to understand that behind that smiling demeanor is an astute mind and the heart of a natural leader.

Also, let’s not dismiss him because he delivers a positive message. We are so used to the cynicism and self-interest of many politicians today that we find it hard to embrace an enthusiastic candidate. In this case, it is a candidate with a history of more than 20 years in public service, working his way up from the bottom.


The endorsement’s final sentence declared that Newsom is ready to be governor. Let me go a step further: I recently saw and heard him in person and think that he has the charisma, experience and smarts to be president.

Marcus Kourtjian of Northridge wants a non-politician to be governor:

The Times has endorsed Newsom for governor, citing Cox’s lack of experience in government.

In 2008, the editorial board endorsed then-Sen. Barack Obama for president even though he had limited experience in government. Is the only difference the fact that Cox is a Republican?

Maybe what this state needs is a non-politician to run it correctly.

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