Gubernatorial candidate Gavin Newsom and incumbent House representative Anna G. Eshoo, both Democrats, swept their respective California state races on Tuesday.
Governor-elect Newsom, who currently serves as Democratic Lieutenant Governor to Gov. Jerry Brown, glided to victory in the California gubernatorial race over Republican opponent John Cox. Newsom — who has served as California’s lieutenant governor since 2011 and is a former San Francisco mayor — landed his victory on a platform devoted to homelessness, housing affordability and healthcare.
Newsom is well-known for his 2004 mayoral decision to issue marriage licenses to gay couples and for championing ballot initiatives in favor of legalized recreational marijuana and gun control. As governor, Newsom’s ambitions include developing 3.5 million new housing units by 2025, a push for universal healthcare, a statewide preschool program for all and increased investment in state infrastructure and job training.
His landslide win marks the first time in well over a century that a Democrat succeeded another Democrat for office. On the eve of Election Day, Gov. Brown issued a public endorsement of Newsom’s campaign, describing Newsom as a “visionary” against the “negativity and fear” Brown said has pervaded the nation under President Donald Trump.
Newsom has been widely regarded as a shoo-in for the spot since he announced his candidacy in February 2015. Cox, a San Diego businessman whose campaign centered around efforts to repeal last year’s state gas tax increase, struggled to win over constituencies in the deep-blue state. Cox employed Trumpian tactics in his attempt to garner the working class vote — emphasizing affordability issues and by portraying himself as “the forgotten Californian,” an advocate for struggling workers — but ultimately failed to tip the blue state red.
Following his January inauguration, Newsom will lead the world’s fifth largest economy on a largely anti-Trump platform, pioneering the resistance against national immigration and environmental regulations, amongst others.
Eshoo’s expected re-election
Democratic Member of Congress Anna G. Eshoo was re-elected to California’s 18th House District with a majority of votes over her Republican opponent Christine Russell.
Eshoo made headlines earlier this fall for her involvement in then-Supreme Court nominee Brett M. Kavanaugh’s confirmation process. Eshoo was the first member of Congress to hear Dr. Christine Blasey Ford’s story of being attacked by Brett Kavanaugh when they were high school students. On Eshoo’s recommendation, Ford, a research psychologist at Palo Alto University, wrote a letter to Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein, the ranking member on the Senate Judiciary Committee who was also re-elected Tuesday evening.
The letter was delivered to Sen. Feinstein’s Washington, D.C. office on Jul. 30 and was delivered to the FBI on Sept. 13.
A Sept. 17 statement on Eshoo’s website offered encouragement to Ford regarding her decision to come forward with her allegations.
“I’m proud of my constituent,” it read. “I am grateful to her for weighing these equities and choosing to speak out on one of the most consequential decisions in our country, an appointment to the highest court in the land,” she said in the statement.
According to The Center for Responsive Politics, Stanford is the third largest contributor to Eshoo’s campaign. California’s 18th House district includes the Department of Energy’s Stanford Linear Accelerator Center (SLAC), which is operated by the University. Eshoo represents a district containing multiple government agencies including the Veterans Affairs Palo Alto Health Care System and the NASA Ames Research Center.
Eshoo has also been a proponent of Net Neutrality. She co-authored the Telecommunications Act of 1996 as well as an amicus brief supporting states’ efforts to overturn the FCC repeal of Net Neutrality.
Contact Claire Wang at clwang32 ‘at’ stanford.edu and Karen Kurosawa at karen16 ‘at’ stanford.edu.