President Donald Trump on Friday endorsed San Diego businessman John Cox for California governor, saying the political novice will be the “best Governor (sic) you’ve ever had.”
In a tweet Friday, Trump said Cox “understands borders, crime and lowering taxes.”
“I fully endorse John Cox for Governor and look forward to working with him to Make California Great Again!” he said.
Cox is a former businessman from Illinois who unsuccessfully ran for the House and Senate seats in that state before moving to Rancho Santa Fe about a decade ago.
"I am honored and deeply grateful to my President and I am looking forward to working with him to make California great again," Cox said in a statement. "Like the President, I'm a businessman who knows how to get things done. We're going to secure the border, empower California small businesses, lower taxes, and make our state affordable to everyone."
The endorsement is a blow for Orange County Republican Assemblyman Travis Allen, who has been campaigning hard for the endorsement. Cox and Allen are in tight race for second place in the June primary. Only the top two candidates from the June primary will advance to the November runoff election. Democrat Gavin Newsom, the current lieutenant governor, is the frontrunner in the polls.
While Cox is the Republican establishment’s choice for governor, he failed to get the state party’s endorsement at its convention in San Diego earlier this month. Cox edged out Allen, 55 percent to 41 percent, but failed to garner the 60 percent of delegates needed to win the endorsement.