Elections

California just elected Gavin Newsom for governor — but SLO County wanted John Cox

California governor candidate John Cox visits SLO Farmers Market

Republican candidate for California Governor John Cox takes a walk through Farmers Market in San Luis Obispo on Thursday, September 27, 2018. Cox talked with potential voters about housing and education.
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Republican candidate for California Governor John Cox takes a walk through Farmers Market in San Luis Obispo on Thursday, September 27, 2018. Cox talked with potential voters about housing and education.

California resoundingly elected Gavin Newsom to be the state’s 40th governor Tuesday, but voters in San Luis Obispo County were among just three coastal counties to opt — narrowly — for his Republican opponent.

With all of the state’s 24,312 precincts reporting as of 11 a.m. Wednesday, Democrat and former Lt. Gov. Newsom held a nearly 19-point lead against John Cox, a San Diego County businessman.

But in San Luis Obispo County — where Cox made a campaign stop in late September — Cox held a razor-thin edge over Newsom, 50.3 percent to Newsom’s 49.6 percent.

That 0.70 percent gap may change, however, as the San Luis Obispo County Clerk-Recorder’s Office still likely has thousands of provisional ballots to be count.

But if the results hold, San Luis Obispo County would be one one just three coastal counties to favor Cox, joining conservative strongholds such as Orange and Del Norte counties, according to data aggregated by The New York Times.

According to those counties’ registrar of voters, Orange County voters carried Cox 53.5 percent to 46.5 percent, and Del Norte County, which has just over 14,000 registered voters, voted for Cox 59.4 percent to 40.5 percent.

Asking the Tough Questions

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According to The New York Times, 31 California counties, nearly all landlocked, favored Cox.

On Wednesday morning, Cox tweeted a message to supporters conceding defeat.

“I want to thank all my friends, supporters, and those that voted for me,” Cox wrote on Twitter. “We came up short, but I’m proud of our effort & focus on the issues. The sun rose this morning, as it always does in California, and we live to fight again another day. God bless!”

In September, Cox stopped at the Downtown SLO Farmers’ Market San Luis Obispo as part of his statewide “Help Is on the Way” bus tour, in which he visited more than 30 cities in the state.

Lucas Clark contributed to this story.

Matt Fountain: 781-7909, @mattfountain1
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