Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) has been the early leader in every California gubernatorial poll, and now he reports a major advantage in the money chase, too. Mr. Newsom has raised almost $16 million for his quest to succeed term-limited Gov. Jerry Brown (D) more than double the second-most prolific fundraiser, state Treasurer John Chiang (D) who has just under $7 million. Mr. Chiang, however, badly lags in the polling. Los Angeles former Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, who comes closest to Newsom in the published surveys, has raised $5 million for his effort.
Under California’s top-two qualifying system, the first and second place finisher advance to the general election regardless of political party affiliation or percentage. There is a likelihood that two Democrats will advance, just as in the last Senate race that elected Kamala Harris (D). Republican businessman John Cox, who has previously run for President and the Senate and House from Illinois, appears to be the leading GOP contender but whether he can finish in a qualifying position remains very much in doubt.
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