The Latest: Newsom, Cox focus on California housing

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The Latest on a debate between California’s gubernatorial candidates (all times local):

10:30 a.m.

The candidates for California governor are highlighting different strategies for building more housing.

Republican John Cox said during a Monday radio debate that he would change environmental regulations. He says as governor he would cut back on those regulations to make housing construction cheaper and faster. 

Democrat Gavin Newsom points to tax reform as a way to spur local governments to approve more housing. He says he would try to change laws that limit property tax revenue for cities because he said they can act as disincentives for housing construction.

Cox also says it’s important to maintain local control over housing while Newsom emphasizes creating statewide housing goals.

Both emphasized the importance of increasing the rate of housing construction as the state faces a severe shortage.

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10 a.m.

Both candidates for California governor both say affordability is a central issue in the race.

Democrat Gavin Newsom and Republican John Cox said Monday that the cost of housing is a serious problem that the next governor must address.

The two are participating Monday in their only scheduled debate.

Newsom says California is both the richest and poorest state, and the state must to a better job addressing inequality.

Cox says Californians should live in a state where they can afford to buy a house or pay their rent and not encounter homeless people on the streets.

He blames Newsom and interest groups in Sacramento for driving up prices. 

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7 a.m.

The two men hoping to be California’s next governor are preparing to meet for what’s likely to be their only one-on-one debate.

Republican John Cox and Democrat Gavin Newsom will debate Monday morning at San Francisco public radio station KQED. The hour-long session will not be televised but will be offered to radio stations to broadcast around the state.

The debate will be a crucial opportunity for Cox to get his message out or try to trip up Newsom. He has trailed Newsom in polls and fundraising. The impact from a radio-only daytime debate could be limited, though.

Cox is a lawyer, accountant and investor from the San Diego area who has never held elected office. Newsom is California’s lieutenant governor and former San Francisco mayor.

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