Originally Published: June 12, 2018 6 a.m.
California’s crazy “jungle” primary elections came to a blessed end on Tuesday.
I lost count, but I think there were 32 candidates running for U.S. Senate and 27 for governor.
In my troubled blue state’s goofy primary system, the top two vote-getters in any given race — even if they are both Democrats or Socialists — get to face each other in the fall general election.
Everyone east of the Sierra Nevada has heard by now that Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, the ex-San Francisco mayor and 2020 Democratic presidential wannabe, won the most votes in the governor’s contest.
But the big news — the good news — is that Republican multimillionaire businessman John Cox came in second.
Cox won easily despite spending little money and getting almost zero major media attention other than from Fox News.
Though Cox was endorsed by President Trump, about the only time his name was mentioned in the local media was when Newsom attacked him in one of his TV ads.
My son Cameron, a stay-at-home dad with two young kids, sent me a text that summed up what was glaringly missing in the primary race.
“Where is the governor that’s running to lower taxes?
“Where’s the governor that’s running to lower the cost of health care? To lower gasoline prices? Or to make our communities safer or our schools better?
“Everything is emotional,” he wrote. “If you’re an immigrant, this person loves you. If you’re a woman, this person loves you. Is the next governor just going to give away free hugs?
“What could a governor that loves women possibly do to make women better than they already are? Are women oppressed? I’m so confused.”
My son is one of California’s forgotten voters, who are ready to revolt.
Millions of them are trying to make ends meet in a place where Democrats in Sacramento have produced the country’s highest income tax rate (13.3 percent), made new houses too expensive for the middle class to afford and turned what used to be the country’s best school system into one of the worst.
No wonder nearly half the people of San Francisco said recently they want to move to another state.
My son wanted to hear candidates for governor address problems that concerned him and his neighbors in the San Fernando Valley — high taxes, criminal gangs, broken schools, spreading homeless camps, a reservoir for Los Angeles.
But Cox and his conservative message were virtually invisible. And every Democrat campaign ad for state and local offices was running against Donald Trump.
“If you want open borders, vote for me and I’ll protect you from Donald Trump.”
In its coverage of the primary results, the New York Times casually said that “Mr. Newsom should coast to victory in November in a state as blue as California.”
That’s the usual conventional wisdom in the liberal media, but I think Cox has a good shot at winning. He got a lot of votes on Tuesday. About 1.1 million to Newsom’s 1.35 million.
This will be our best chance in a long time to elect a Republican governor.
When Cox called me yesterday to thank me for supporting him, I told him there was only one ad I thought he should run in the fall:
“If you like $5-a-gallon gas, if you like sanctuary cities, if you like illegals pouring across the border, if you want four more years of the progressive tax-and-spend policies that have destroyed what used to be known as ‘The great state of California,’ vote Gavin Newsom. You’ll be sorry.”
Michael Reagan is the son of President Ronald Reagan, a political consultant, and the author of “The New Reagan Revolution” (St. Martin’s Press). He is the founder of the email service reagan.com and president of The Reagan Legacy Foundation. Visit his websites at www.reagan.com and www.michaelereagan.com. Send comments to Reagan@caglecartoons.com. Follow @reaganworld on Twitter.