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California Governor: Gavin Newsom, John Cox Vie For State's Top Spot

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — With Gov. Jerry Brown reaching his term limit, Californians will have a choice between the state's lieutenant governor and a businessman.

Democrat Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom and Republican John Cox advanced to November's general election as the Top 2 candidates in the June primary vote.

A poll by the Public Policy Institute of California in September found Newsom had a 51-39 edge among likely voters with 10 percent of voters undecided.

The candidates took part in their only debate on Oct. 8.

Newsom has served as California's lieutenant governor since 2010. Previously, he was the mayor of San Francisco from 2004 to 2010.

Cox has made the state's gas tax and the DMV central parts of his campaign, visiting offices during the controversy over long wait times.

Cox was the first candidate to run for the Republican nomination for president in 2008, but in the end he was tied with Rudy Giuliani at 0 delegates won. Cox also ran for the U.S. Senate in Illinois in 2002, finishing third out of three candidates and for the House of Representatives for Illinois in 2000, finishing fifth out of 11 candidates.

Cox edged out Democrat Antonio Villaraigosa in the June primary. It came after Newsom ran campaign ads bolstering Cox in hopes of edging out a Villaraigosa. California's primary system allows only the Top 2 candidates to advance, regardless of party affiliation.

The last candidate to move from the lieutenant governor's seat to the governorship was Gray Davis in 1998. He served until he was recalled amid California's energy crisis that was spurred on by speculation from firms such as Enron.


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