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Gavin Newsom, John Cox Make Closing Arguments In California Governor’s Race

Ben Adler / Capital Public Radio

Candidates for California governor, Republican John Cox and Democrat Gavin Newsom, campaign in Sacramento ahead of the Nov. 6 election.

Ben Adler / Capital Public Radio

Republican John Cox and Democrat Gavin Newsom make their final campaign stops Monday in the race for California governor.

They’ve been barnstorming the state for much of the past week — often joining candidates in California’s competitive congressional races that could decide which party controls the House of Representatives next year.

As Newsom’s campaign bus pulled up at a Sacramento preschool on Halloween, parents and kids welcomed him by singing “The Wheels on the Bus.” Newsom stepped out dressed as Batman, joined by Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg as Superman.

“The things we do for votes!” Newsom said. “Unbelievable!”

Newsom, the Democratic lieutenant governor and former mayor of San Francisco, reiterated his commitment to sweeping new state-funded programs like universal preschool and single-payer health care. And he promised to continue the current governor’s efforts to limit spending by the Democratic-controlled Legislature.

“Jerry Brown was the right person at the right time,” Newsom said. “We’re in a different time in our state’s history. Different time in our nation’s history. And I think we’re very well equipped to take the baton and build on that legacy.”

He also promised to stand up to President Donald Trump, acknowledging it would be a hollow victory if he won the governor’s race but Democrats failed to win the House.

Cox’s campaign acknowledges he trails Newsom but argues the race is narrowing. Still, the San Diego businessman is clearly relishing his time on the campaign trail. He mocks Newsom for saying he’d govern with fiscal responsibility.

“I just can’t believe the people of this state are gonna vote for the status quo,” he told reporters in Sacramento last week. “Right now, this state is almost the laughingstock of the entire country because of the political class in this state. People are ready for change.”

Cox has tried to avoid talking national politics, especially when that involves President Trump. But did say he hopes Republicans are able to keep control of Congress, pointing to the strength of the national economy.

Newsom will campaign in Modesto and San Francisco on Monday before holding his Election Night party in Los Angeles. Cox will spend his final full day of campaigning in Berkeley and Sacramento before gathering Tuesday night in his hometown of San Diego.

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