Top 2 Calif. Gubernatorial Candidates Make Last Pitches to Voters - NBC 7 San Diego

Top 2 Calif. Gubernatorial Candidates Make Last Pitches to Voters

Democrat Gavin Newsom leads in the polls with Republican John Cox in second

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    Newsom, Cox Make Last Pitches to Voters

    Gavin Newsom is defending himself against a new attack ad portraying him as absent lieutenant governor. NBC 7's anchor Omari Flemming with more. (Published Saturday, June 2, 2018)

    With just three days until election night, the top two California gubernatorial candidates aren’t taking a moment for granted in trying to get out their messages (and attack their opponent) one more time.

    From the campus of UC Davis, Democrat Gavin Newsom shot back against political ads that portray him as an absent governor. “As Lt. Governor, I took on the National Rifle Association. Comprehensive background checks now on ammunition purchases, eliminated high capacity magazine clips, first relinquishment law in the United States to get guns out of hands of dangerous felons,” Newsom told NBC in the Bay Area.

    He also pointed to the legalization of marijuana, lowering the prison population and fighting to keep college tuition costs down as accomplishments during his tenure.

    Newsom is in first place in the polls, but Republican John Cox is a close second.

    Cox, who was in San Diego Saturday for a Republican Party Get-Out-The-Vote Kick-Off Event said that Newsom is more of the same.

    “He’s more taxes, more spending, more big government, more partisan politics. People are sick of that stuff,” Cox said.

    He also called Newsom an elitist.

    “I started at the bottom,” Cox said. “I’m the son of a single mom who was a working class person. I had no father growing up I had to work my way through college. Gavin Newsom is an elitist. He was put in business by Gordon Getty. He was born on third base and thought he hit a triple. I think people are going to identify with my background the fact that I made something of myself.”

    Cox mentioned his leading role in repealing the gas tax and his efforts to get the sanctuary state bill repealed.

    Some Democrats have criticized Newsom for propping up Cox as his main opponent, saying it will galvanize Republicans to go to the polls.

    “I think the opportunity to have a Democrat facing a Republican in the General, where we can line up the Democratic Party not just around the gubernatorial candidate but all the down-ballot candidates, particularly these congressional candidates, is an extraordinary opportunity for Democrats in this state at this critical juncture,” Newsom said in response.

    California has an open primary with the top two vote-getters continuing into a runoff in November. So if the polls hold it will likely be a Democrat versus Republican race in the fall.