Democrat Gavin Newsom took an overwhelming win over Republican John Cox in the California’s 2018 gubernatorial election on Nov. 6, further signaling California’s opposition to Donald Trump.
Newsom won with 59 percent of the vote in a state where Democrats outnumber GOP voters by 3.8 million, which shows that Newsom’s vehement opposition to President Donald Trump may have paid off.
“Like a lot of politicians, lieutenant governor Newsom is watching the polls,” said Ron Hayduk, SF State political science professor. “And in California, like many other parts of the country, there are regions that are alarmed by some of the policies of Trump.”
He replaces another Trump antagonist, Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown, who served four terms as California governor. During his victory speech in L.A. on Tuesday Nov. 6, Newsom, California’s lieutenant governor since 2011 and a former San Francisco mayor, did not mention Trump. But he alluded to Trump by saying the state’s voters had just shown that they’re against “agents of anger.”
Trump and Newsom have a long-held feud. Among Trump’s rebukes was a September rallying cry against Newsom’s proposal that California cover the health care of undocumented immigrants. Trump endorsed Cox, a Republican businessman, during primary elections.
For Newsom’s part, he called for Trump’s resignation in January after complaints about immigrants coming from so-called “shithole countries.” Cox took shots at Newsom in a 2017 Orange County Register op-ed writing how health care for all would destroy California.
“We certainly represent the vast majority of Californians that reject John Cox’s absolute allegiance to Trump and Trumpism,” Newsom said on Oct. 8 during a debate with Cox on KQED.
However, Newsom has to offer more than mere opposition to Trump to effectively lead the state, said his supporters at SF State.
“I think that the Democratic party still needs to follow the issues instead of just being anti-Trump.” said Joshua Ochoa, president of SF State’s College Democrats. “I’m still satisfied with Newsom, and I voted for him today.”
Newsom advocated for universal healthcare across the state, as seen in the Healthy San Francisco program, which he ushered in during his mayoral tenure in 2007. He also vowed to help impoverished children and fast track housing construction.