Democrat Gavin Newsom wins CA governor's race over Republican John Cox

KGO logo
Wednesday, November 7, 2018
Gavin Newsom projected to defeat John Cox to become California governor
ABC News is projecting that Gavin Newsom will become the next governor of California.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, a Democrat who is largely expected to continue many of the policies of Gov. Jerry Brown, has overwhelmingly won election to the California governor's office over Republican businessman John Cox.

Newsom was widely predicted to win in a state in which registered Democrats outnumber Republicans by about 3.8 million.

>>> California and Bay Area election results here

>>> National election results here

Newsom was widely predicted to win in a state in which registered Democrats outnumber Republicans by about 3.8 million.

One of the dominant themes in Newsom's candidacy was his willingness to battle President Donald Trump over issues such as the environment and immigration.

As he delivered his victory speech in downtown Los Angeles, Newsom delivered a message that at times seemed directed at Trump.

RELATED: Republican candidate for governor John Cox delivers concession speech

"Tonight America's biggest state is making the biggest statement in America," he told supporters.

Tuesday morning as he cast his vote with his family in Larkspur, he repeated that theme.

"So much is at stake," Newsom said. "I don't think it's an exaggeration to say Trump's declared war on California."

"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. Now is time for going far and going together. Now is the time for decency, for facts, for trust. And now is the time for truth."

"To those agents of anger determined to divide us instead of unite us, it's time to pack it up and for you to pack it in."

Newsom, 51, is a former mayor of San Francisco who first gained national attention in 2004 when he ordered city officials to issue marriage licenses for same-sex couples before gay marriage was legal in the state.

Cox had not previously held elected office, but had made bids in the past for Congress and the U.S. Senate. He had described himself as a self-made millionaire who grew a business from scratch to employ nearly 100 people.

The 63-year-old from San Diego had campaigned on issues that included ending California's status as a sanctuary state, repealing the gas tax increase and fighting special interests in Sacramento.

Cox began Election Day by eating breakfast with his family at a deli in San Diego and urging Californians on Twitter to "vote for change versus the status quo!"

About an hour before the polls closed, he was still urging supporters to vote.

"We're going to get real change, we're going to clean out the barn in Sacramento," Cox said. "We're going to have a Legislature and a governor who's going to represent the people of this state and not the special interests."

Full coverage on the 2018 election at