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Less than two months from his first statewide election, California Atty. Gen. Xavier Becerra has become adept not only at challenging President Trump but at using the bully pulpit of his office to raise his profile with voters.

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  • State government

In an effort to make sure California has a strong showing in the next national census, Gov. Jerry Brown on Friday established a state commission to prepare outreach for the decennial count.

“It is vitally important for California to do everything it can to ensure that every Californian is counted in the upcoming census,” Brown said in a prepared statement.

The commission’s formation comes on the heels of a Trump administration plan to ask about citizenship status as a part of the census. State officials fear that such a question, which has not been asked in a census since 1950, could chill participation among California residents.

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A new poll shows that Republican Assemblyman Rocky Chávez has taken a clear lead over 15 other candidates running to replace Rep. Darrell Issa in Congress and has overtaken Democrat Doug Applegate, the previous frontrunner.

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  • 2018 election
  • California Democrats
  • U.S. Senate race

A group that is supporting Kevin de León’s bid for the U.S. Senate launched a blistering ad against Sen. Dianne Feinstein on Thursday, questioning her progressive principles and tying her to President Trump.

The ad buy from A Progressive California is minuscule — $10,000 to air it in Los Angeles for one day on CNN and MSNBC during programming such as “The Rachel Maddow Show,” “Hardball with Chris Matthews” and “Anderson Cooper 360.”

The minute-long ad features news clips about Feinstein not getting the California Democratic Party endorsement earlier this year, as well as footage of Feinstein saying that Trump can be a good president and appearing to share a laugh with Trump.

  • State government
  • 2018 election
A motorist prepares to gas up her vehicle in San Rafael, Calif., in 2015.
A motorist prepares to gas up her vehicle in San Rafael, Calif., in 2015. (Justin Sullivan / Getty Images)

A proposed initiative to repeal hikes to California’s gas tax has been caught in the middle of a dispute involving Republican rivals in the governor’s race.

Assemblyman Travis Allen, a Republican candidate for governor, decided in January to drop plans for his own initiative and said he would urge supporters to sign a separate petition being supported by several Republican members of Congress. Then last week, the committee Allen formed to finance his ballot measure reported a $300,000 contribution from PISF Inc., a Novato, Calif., real estate firm.

Now, an organizer of the still active “Give Voters a Voice” committee is urging the Allen committee to “immediately donate their funds” in support of the ongoing signature gathering efforts.

A Bay Area lawmaker’s housing proposal could expand the size and scope of home building efforts in California at an unprecedented scale.

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 Gubernatorial candidates debate at the USC campus in January.
Gubernatorial candidates debate at the USC campus in January. (Allen J. Schaben)

Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom remains the clear front-runner in California’s race for governor, with businessman John Cox and former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa vying for second place, according to a new poll from the nonpartisan Public Policy Institute of California.

The survey, released Wednesday, found that 26% of likely voters backed Newsom, a Democrat and former mayor of San Francisco.

Only the top two finishers in the June 5 primary will advance to the November election, regardless of their party affiliation.