from American Spectator:
Signs of Life in California Electorate?
Perhaps I spent too much time on social media as Tuesday’s California primary results rolled in, but I was stunned by the negative reaction of the state’s most conservative voters. Some backers of gubernatorial candidate Travis Allen — a rabble-rousing Orange County Assemblyman who built his campaign around his support for the president — seemed reluctant to rally around John Cox, a San Diego-area businessman who had secured a boisterous endorsement from Donald Trump.
If Republicans are serious about rebuilding their brand in California, they need to recognize reality and make some important distinctions. Cox’s strong second-place showing in the state’s top-two primary system, whereby the top two vote-getters advance to general election regardless of party, is good news for the GOP and conservatives for various reasons. The president — no doubt urged to endorse Cox by Republican members of Congress — understood the importance of having an adult with some cross-party appeal as Republican standard-bearer as we head toward November.
Those who called Cox a RINO — a Republican In Name Only — are far off the mark. He’s a longtime conservative activist, out of the free-market, pro-growth Jack Kemp mold, which is a solid approach in California. As we head toward the general election, someone needs to make an intelligent case about how Democratic progressives have been destroying everything they touch (housing, the economy, health care, infrastructure) because of their adoration of government regulation, public-sector unions, and high taxation. Cox is capable of doing that.
Cox grabbed 26 percent of the vote, to Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom’s 33 percent. The GOP’s chances are a longshot, but the party will at least have a serious contest and some chance to discuss economic issues. Cox nearly doubled the vote count of former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, a progressive Democrat who has for years been talking about undermining property-tax-limiting Proposition 13. If one wants to talk about RINOs, note that Meg Whitman, who spent $140 million of her own money to get demolished by Jerry Brown in the 2010 race, threw her support this year to Villaraigosa.