• Governor's race
Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom
Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom (Jenna Schoenefeld / For The Times)

The California Professional Firefighters on Friday endorsed Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom for governor, praising Newsom’s support for firefighters while he served as mayor of San Francisco.

The union, which represents 30,000 first responders in California, also took a subtle shot at one of Newsom’s Democratic rivals in the governor’s race, Antonio Villaraigosa. While Villaraigosa served as mayor of Los Angeles, the city fire department underwent a period of steep budget cuts and staff reductions as the city struggled financially during the recession, drawing criticism from the city’s firefighters union.

“At a time when California faces a grave and growing threat from fire and other natural disaster, it’s essential that the next governor offer more than lip service to public safety,” Lou Paulson, president of California Professional Firefighters, said in a statement released Friday. “Throughout his public life, Gavin Newsom has built a record of standing up for public safety and the men and women on the front lines, even in tough times. He has earned our endorsement.”

  • Governor's race
  • California Democrats

An East County congressional candidate is calling for a lasting peace between Palestinians and Israelis after a Tel Aviv newspaper published a story about his grandfather's ties to a terrorist group.

Ammar Campa-Najjar, 28, of Jamul, says he never met his grandfather, Muhammad Yusuf al-Najjar, who died in 1973.

  • Congressional races
  • California in Congress
  • 2018 election
Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Costa Mesa)
Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Costa Mesa) (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Former Trump campaign aide Richard W. Gates III is expected to plead guilty today to conspiracy and lying about a 2013 Ukraine-related meeting between his former business partner Paul Manafort, a lobbyist and California Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Costa Mesa).

The meeting became public in the summer when Manafort belatedly filed a disclosure form for his work as a foreign agent on behalf of Ukraine. Rohrabacher at the time called it a “nice little dinner” and said that Russia and the Baltic states probably came up, but it wasn't the focus of their conversation.

Three days after the dinner, Manafort contributed $1,000 to Rohrabacher's reelection campaign. Gates was Manafort's deputy on the campaign and continued to serve as a senior advisor through Trump's inauguration. He is expected to testify against Manafort if his case goes to trial.

Top from left, Gavin Newsom, Antonio Villaraigosa and John Chiang. Lower from left, Delaine Eastin, Dianne Feinstein and Kevin de León.
Top from left, Gavin Newsom, Antonio Villaraigosa and John Chiang. Lower from left, Delaine Eastin, Dianne Feinstein and Kevin de León. (Los Angeles Times)

Thousands of California Democrats are gathering in San Diego today for their annual convention, where potential presidential contenders will make appearances and state candidates will battle for endorsements from the party faithful in advance of the June primary.

Here’s what you need to know:

How many endorsements are up for grabs?