Moneywise, Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom is well ahead of his competitors in the race to be California's next governor. He has over $19 million available to spend. That's more than the five other leading candidates combined.
State Treasurer John Chiang comes in next with about $9 million available, including $3.2 million from a previous campaign. Former L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa has nearly $5.9 million cash on hand and Republican businessman John Cox has nearly $2 million. Democrat Delaine Eastin and Republican Assemblyman Travis Allen come in far behind with $183,843.42 and $135,534.84 cash on hand respectively.
In a crowded field, Newsom is doubling down on some progressive messages to make himself stand out. For instance, during a visit to KQED's Forum Thursday, Newsom reiterated his support for creating a government-run, single-payer health care system in California.
“By creating a single-payer financing system, we have the leverage to negotiate better drug prices," Newsom said, "the leverage of bulk-purchasing to figure out a way to provide quality care to those that are uninsured, to improve the pool of sick versus healthy.”
During another Forum segment Thursday, Villaraigosa said California can’t consider itself truly progressive without addressing its poverty and income inequality problems. He sees a link between that and building the controversial high-speed rail project.