Republican candidate for governor John Cox spent part of Thursday evening visiting with Central Coast residents in downtown San Luis Obispo.
Cox, a businessman from San Diego County, kicked off his statewide “Help Is On The Way” bus tour Wednesday in Los Angeles. The six-day tour stopped at the Downtown SLO Farmers’ Market on Thursday and will visit more than 30 cities in California over the next few days.
Cox and his campaign team walked along Higuera Street shaking hands, taking pictures and delivering a simple message.
“We need to get this state turned around,” Cox said. “There’s so many people that can’t afford to live in this state, and our kids are having to move away.”
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Cox spoke frequently about the lack of affordable housing, high taxes imposed on residents, immigration and education.
“This is chasing people out of the state,” Cox said.
Democrat Gavin Newsom maintains a 12-point lead in the race for governor, but the margin has halved since the summer, according to a new poll from the Public Policy Institute of California.
Newsom, the state’s two-term lieutenant governor, is reportedly favored by 51 percent to succeed Gov. Jerry Brown this November, a slight dip from 55 percent in July.
Cox has made a strong push over the past two months, with 39 percent of respondents planning to vote for him this fall, up from 31 percent in July. The poll indicates that 85 percent of Republicans support Cox, while 86 percent of Democrats said they prefer Newsom.
According to the poll, independent voters are split nearly evenly: 42 percent favor Newsom, 37 percent said they would vote for Cox and 15 percent were undecided.
Barbara and Russ Little, who live in Oak Hills and were visiting San Luis Obispo for the week, said they both plan to vote for Cox in November’s election.
Barbara Little said they have been following Cox’s campaign, and they also plan to vote in favor of Proposition 6, which would repeal the increase in the state’s tax on gas and diesel sales.
“I think everybody in the whole High Desert is going to vote for him,” Barbara Little said, “just because it’s their livelihood to get gas in their car to drive an hour, two hours if they go into L.A.”
Cox’s bus tour is scheduled to end Monday in the Redding area, according to a member of his campaign team.
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Correction: This story has been updated to accurately reflect the name of John Cox’s “Help Is On The Way” bus tour.