The race is on to replace Democrat Jerry Brown, California’s governor for the past eight years, who is forbidden by term limits from seeking re-election.
Twenty-seven candidates are competing in the June 5 primary. In the state’s top-two primary system, the candidates with the first and second most votes will move on to a final runoff election for the governor’s office in November.
Democrat Gavin Newsom is leading major polls, leading many experts to describe the race as a competition between the remaining candidates for a final spot to run against him.
Below you’ll find a guide to the most prominent candidates, with links to their campaign websites, and a link to a complete list of those participating in the race.
The current front-runners for governor, organized in alphabetical order are:
- Travis Allen (Rep.) – Allen is a Republican member of the California State Assembly, representing a district made up of largely coastal Orange County communities since 2012. Allen describes himself as a conservative small business owner who would lower taxes, “get tough on crime” and improve infrastructure as governor. Watch Allen’s interview with FOX 5.
- John Chiang (Dem.) – John Chiang is the state’s Democratic Treasurer and a former state controller. Chiang describes himself as a thoughtful, financially responsible progressive who would lower the cost of healthcare, increase affordable housing and improve the state’s education system as governor.
- John Cox (Rep.) – John Cox is a Rancho Santa Fe businessman and former Newt Gingrich Finance Chair who recently earned President Trump’s endorsement. Cox describes himself as a conservative leader who would supports 2nd Amendment rights, end California’s “Sanctuary State” policies and roll back regulations on businesses. Watch Cox’s interview with FOX 5.
- Delaine Eastin (Dem.) – Delaine Eastin is a San Diego native and a former state Superintendent of Public Instruction and State Assemblymember. Eastin describes herself as a visionary who isn’t afraid to take on the “rich and powerful,” who would emphasize environmental issues, gun violence prevention and criminal justice reform as governor.
- Gavin Newsom (Dem.) – Gavin Newsom is California’s Democratic Lietuenant Governor and the former mayor of San Francisco. Newsom describes himself as a progressive who would expand affordable healthcare — he has touted a single-payer system — defend immigrant communities, environmental and civil rights.
- Antonio Villaraigosa (Dem.) – Antonio Villaraigosa is a Democratic former Mayor of Los Angeles and union organizer. Villaraigosa describes himself as an experience leader and working class advocate who would create more high-wage jobs, protect the state’s so-called DREAMers and create more affordable housing. Watch Villaraigosa’s interview with FOX 5.