Bronco Jerry Brown passes the governor torch to fellow alum
November 8, 2018
Democrat Gavin Newsom was elected California governor Tuesday and used his victory speech to punch at President Donald Trump and extoll California as a beacon for all Americans who oppose “agents of anger.”
Newsom’s victory ensures one opponent of Trump, outgoing Gov. Jerry Brown, will be replaced by another. Both Brown and Newsom are Santa Clara alumni, with the latter graduating in 1989 as a political science major.
“We’re saying unmistakably and in unison that it’s time to roll the credits on the politics of chaos and the politics of cruelty,” Newsom told supporters at a nightclub in downtown Los Angeles. “Now is the time for decency, for facts, for trust, and now is the time for truth. Now is time for leaders to lead.”
He did not mention Trump by name, but his remarks were aimed squarely at the president.
“He will be the perfect gadfly to President Trump,” said Santa Clara political science professor Kenneth Faulve-Montojo. “In the absence of any dramatic changes to the political landscape, I suspect it is premature to envision a 2020 presidential run for Governor Newsom since the tea-leaves lay out that Senator Kamala Harris is destined for that calling.”
Newsom presented California as “America’s coming attraction,” extolled the state’s diversity, innovative businesses and thriving economy, and urged Americans dispirited with political polarization to look toward the Golden State.
Newsom defeated Republican John Cox with a pledge to spur a rapid bump in housing construction, bring about universal healthcare and help impoverished children. He’ll replace Gov. Jerry Brown, one of Trump’s chief antagonists.
Newsom led Cox 57 percent to 43 percent with about 4.2 million votes counted.
For the past eight years Newsom has been lieutenant governor, a position with almost no power. Before that, as San Francisco mayor, he rocketed into the global spotlight when he ordered the issuing of marriage licenses to same-sex couples when it wasn’t legal.
“Observers would not be surprised that he ran for governor,” Faulve-Montojo said. “They could see the path since his days as San Francisco mayor.”
The Associated Press contributed reporting. Contact Erin Fox at email@example.com or call (408) 554-4852.