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Newsom To Face Cox For Governor Of California

Nicholas Kamm/AFP/Getty Images, John Cox via KQED.org
Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom and Republican businessman John Cox.

The grim scenario California Republicans feared -- that they'd have to choose between two Democrats for California governor this fall -- has been averted. Republican businessman John Cox finished second behind Democrat Gavin Newsom in a crowded field of candidates from both parties.

Newsom -- California's lieutenant governor -- easily took first place, gaining 35 percent of the vote with 95 percent of the precincts counted. Polls had long shown Newsom comfortably in the lead.

But the anticipated nailbiter of whether Cox or Democrat Antonio Villaraigosa would come in second turned out to be far less close than expected. Cox got 28 percent, while Villaraigosa -- the former mayor of Los Angeles -- got only 14 percent. Villaraigosa edged out Republican Travis Allen, who got 10 pecent. Democrats John Chiang and Delaine Eastin brought up the rear, with 9 and 3 percent, respectively.

Liam Moriarty has been covering news in the Pacific Northwest for three decades. He served two stints as JPR News Director and retired full-time from JPR at the end of 2021. Liam now edits and curates the news on JPR's website and digital platforms.