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California governor's race comes down to its final day

Ben Adler/Capital Public Radio
John Cox (left) and Gavin Newsom.

Today is election day, and the candidates for California governor are barnstorming the state making their final pitches to voters. 

[Sound: Parents and kids singing: “The wheels on the bus go round and round, all through the town…”]

As Gavin Newsom’s campaign bus pulled up at a Sacramento preschool on Halloween, parents and kids sang their welcome. Newsom stepped out dressed as Batman, joined by Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg as Superman.

Newsom: “The things we do for votes!”

Steinberg: “The things we do for votes!”

Newsom: “Unbelievable!” 

Newsom, the Democratic lieutenant governor and former mayor of San Francisco, is the frontrunner. He reiterated his commitment to sweeping new state-funded programs like universal preschool and single-payer health care. He also vowed to continue the current governor’s efforts to limit spending by the Democratic-controlled Legislature.

“Jerry Brown was the right person at the right time," Newsom said. "We’re in a different time in our state’s history. Different time in our nation’s history. And I think we’re very well equipped to take the baton and build on that legacy.” 

The morning after Halloween, Cox headed out on the road from Sacramento.

[Sound of Cox speaking to crowd: “Good morning, thanks for being here today! We’re kicking off the close of this campaign, the bus tour: ‘Help is on the way…’”]

The San Diego businessman’s campaign acknowledges he trails Newsom but thinks the lead is narrowing. But that isn’t stopping Cox from having fun … or from mocking Newsom for saying he’d govern with fiscal responsibility. 

“Right now, this state is almost the laughingstock of the entire country because of the political class in this state," Cox said. "People are ready for change.”

Both Cox and Newsom have been campaigning with candidates in California’s competitive House districts. 

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