California cemented its role as a defiant counterweight to the federal government on Tuesday as the state’s voters elected Gavin Newsom, an enthusiastic adversary of President Trump, as their next governor.
Republican gubernatorial candidate John Cox conceded defeat Tuesday night but told supporters in San Diego that he predicts a resurgence of the Republican Party in California and said he’s “not going anywhere.”
“Let me tell you, this Republican Party will be back in this state,” Cox said to applause. “And our path to success is going to be based on delivering the quality of life that people need so desperately.”
Cox was met with cheers as he took the podium in the U.S. Grant Hotel's ballroom shortly after 9:30 p.m., telling the crowd that he’d called his opponent, Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, wished him well and offered him assistance.
Democratic state Atty. Gen. Xavier Becerra has been elected to a full term as California’s top cop, holding off a challenge from Republican Steven Bailey.
Becerra, a former congressman from Los Angeles, was appointed by Gov. Jerry Brown to replace the state’s former attorney general, Kamala Harris, after she was elected to the U.S. Senate in 2016.
In his time in office, Becerra has made headlines by suing the Trump administration over a number of federal policies. Bailey is a retired defense attorney and judge from El Dorado County in Northern California.
Democrat Tony Evers ousted Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker on Tuesday, denying the polarizing Republican and one-time presidential candidate a third term and succeeding where his party had failed in three previous attempts, including a 2012 recall.
Evers' victory is a monumental win for Democrats and a steep fall for Walker, who just three years ago was seen as an early front-runner in the GOP primary for president. When Walker dropped out of the presidential race, he focused on rebuilding his low approval ratings in Wisconsin.
Walker had promised if he won the third term would have been his last, but voters decided that two was enough.
Sen. Dianne Feinstein fended off her first significant Democratic challenger in more than two decades today, beating state Sen. Kevin de León to win a fifth full term.
De León challenged Feinstein from the left in a deep blue state that has become more hyper-partisan since President Trump took office.
Feinstein’s reputation as a moderate has always been an advantage in facing Republicans in general elections. But under California’s new top-two voting system, she faced a fellow Democrat who attacked her for not doing more to stand up to Trump.
Claiming victory as California's next governor, Gavin Newsom positioned the state as the alternative to so-called “Trumpism” and the rancorous tone of today's politics.
"It's been a long two years, but tonight, America's biggest state is making America's biggest statement," Newsom told supporters Tuesday night. "We are saying, unmistakably and in unison, that it's time to roll credits on the politics of chaos and cruelty."
Trump went unnamed in Newsom's speech, but implied contrasts ran through his remarks, as well as the pointed declaration that "the California dream has always been — and will always be — too big to fail and too powerful to bully."