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548 posts
  • 2018 election

Gavin Newsom has centered his gubernatorial campaign on his rivalry with President Trump. But long before Trump, Newsom was known for his squabbles with fellow Democrats.

KQED’s Scott Shafer asked Newsom on Monday about the lieutenant governor’s history of tussling with other elected officials — be it colleagues on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, Gov. Jerry Brown when Newsom briefly ran against him in 2010 or leaders in the California Legislature.

Newsom said the spats were a good thing — a sign he’d go against the political grain.

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Republican gubernatorial candidate John Cox was quick to blame “special interests in Sacramento” for wasteful government spending during Monday’s radio debate against Gavin Newsom. 

But when pressed on how he’d tackle the influence of money in politics, he repeatedly demurred, saying he’d unveil his plans after the election.

Cox hasn’t always been so coy. In fact, he got his start in California politics by pushing an out-of-the box initiative to create a “neighborhood Legislature,” which would have dramatically expanded the number of state lawmakers. Cox tried, and failed, multiple times to get the proposal on the ballot.

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  • 2018 election
Democratic Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, left, and Republican businessman John Cox faced off Monday in a candidate forum in San Francisco.
Democratic Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, left, and Republican businessman John Cox faced off Monday in a candidate forum in San Francisco. (Rich Pedroncelli / Associated Press)

The candidates for California governor clashed in a debate Monday over Proposition 6, the initiative that would repeal fuel tax increases and vehicle fees for repairing the state’s roads and bridges.

Republican John Cox, who is co-chairman of the Proposition 6 campaign, said that if elected, Democrat Gavin Newsom would not force Caltrans to improve operations to allow the state to pay for road repairs without raising taxes.

“I think Gavin would not exercise enough control over efficiency at Caltrans,” Cox said during the debate on KQED radio, adding that Democrats are “digging into the pockets of people who are already paying” high fuel taxes “instead of reforming that system.”

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  • Governor's race
  • 2018 election

California gubernatorial candidates Gavin Newsom and John Cox outlined sharp contrasts on how to resolve the state’s housing affordability crisis during a radio debate Monday morning.

While they agreed the state needs to speed production to address the state’s low housing supply, they differed on how to do that.

Newsom, the Democratic lieutenant governor, said the state needed to increase spending to help build new low-income housing developments, and pitched giving cities and counties more financial incentives to approve new housing. Currently, the state’s tax structure provides more revenue to local governments that approve commercial and hotel projects compared with housing. Newsom said he’d be willing to reexamine Proposition 13’s property tax restrictions as part of broad changes to the tax structure.

John Cox, center, is questioned by reporters as he leaves a June news conference where he blasted a recent gas tax increase.
John Cox, center, is questioned by reporters as he leaves a June news conference where he blasted a recent gas tax increase. (Rich Pedroncelli / Associated Press)

In a debate between California’s gubernatorial candidate Monday morning, KQED senior politics editor Scott Shafer asked Republican John Cox about past statements on the LGBTQ community, honing in on comments the Rancho Santa Fe businessman has made about gay marriage.

Cox has been criticized by his opponents for a series of gaffes and offensive statements. Read more in Phil Willon’s story.

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Democrat Gavin Newsom and Republican John Cox
Democrat Gavin Newsom and Republican John Cox (Rich Pedroncelli / Associated Press)