The Latest: Newsom, Cox take early lead in race for governor

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Latest on California’s primary election (all times local):

8:50 p.m.

Democrat Gavin Newsom and Republican John Cox took an early lead in the race to replace Jerry Brown as California governor.

Newsom narrowly led Cox with about 30 percent of the vote in early returns from Tuesday’s primary, while Republican Travis Allen and Democrat Antonio Villaraigosa trailed.

Because of California’s so-called “jungle primary,” the top two vote-getters — regardless of party — advance to a runoff in November.

Newsom is California’s lieutenant governor and the former mayor of San Francisco. He was strongly favored to come in first in a race he began almost four years ago.

Cox is a businessman from the San Diego area who has never held elected office.

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8:35 p.m.

Early results show voters favoring the recall of a Northern California judge over a sexual assault sentence that garnered national attention.

Santa Clara County’s voter registrar reports the first returns Tuesday night show 59 percent of voters favoring removing Judge Aaron Persky from office, with 40 percent opposed.

Persky sentenced former Stanford University swimmer Brock Turner in June 2016 to six months in jail instead of prison after he was convicted of sexually assaulting a woman outside a fraternity house. The recall campaign launched shortly afterward.

The campaign gained national prominence after the victim’s powerful courtroom statement lamenting her treatment by the judicial system was circulated widely online.

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8 p.m.

California polls have closed and results are upcoming in hundreds of contests across the state that could solidify Democratic dominance and reshape the fight for control of the U.S. Congress.

Traffic at polling stations was light Tuesday because many people voted in advance in races setting the stage for the November election.

Democratic Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom is the front-runner in the race for governor. President Donald Trump tweeted support for Republican businessman John Cox.

The Secretary of State’s Office said more than 2.5 million people had voted by mail as of Monday night.

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5:55 p.m.

More than 2.5 million people had voted by mail in California’s June 5 primary election as of Monday night.

Data from the California Secretary of State’s Office shows about 13.5 percent of registered voters cast mail ballots. That number will increase as residents vote in person on Election Day and as mail ballots continue to come in through Friday.

As long as a ballot is postmarked by June 5, it can arrive up to three days later and still be counted. The counting process can take days and sometimes weeks for close races to determine a winner.

About 63 percent of voters received vote-by-mail ballots this election.

Polls in the state close at 8 p.m. Tuesday. Turnout appears generally light throughout the state.

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5:30 p.m.

Los Angeles County officials say the names of more than 118,000 voters were omitted from voter lists because of a printing error, but residents can still cast their ballots.

The county’s registrar-recorder’s office says registered voters can cast provisional ballots in Tuesday’s primary election.

They say the issue involves a total of 118,522 voters in Los Angeles County.

Officials say they are still working to identify what caused some names to not be included on printed lists of voters.

They say poll workers have been instructed to offer provisional ballots to every voter whose name doesn’t appear on the poll site’s roster.

The county says votes cast on provisional ballots will be counted once the voter’s registration is confirmed.

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11:46 a.m.

Some California counties are reporting light traffic at polling stations but officials point out many voters are mailing in their ballots.

At Berkeley City Hall most of the voters showing up were dropping off ballots they had received by mail.

In Kern County, Clerk Auditor Susan Rooney says 49,000 out of the 233,000 mail ballots sent out have been turned in as of Tuesday morning.

She says a curbside drop-off for mail-in ballots near her office is seeing a slow but steady turnout.

In Fresno County, no lines are being reported but County Clerk Brandi Orth says voters usually come out at lunch time or after work.

Orth says she saw a “handful of voters” at the stations she visited Tuesday morning.

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10:27 a.m.

Voters are expressing a sense of duty as they cast ballots in California’s primary election.

Thirty-seven-year-old Cecilia Arteaga held her 1½-year-old daughter on her hip as she voted Tuesday at a San Diego assisted living facility. Arteaga says she knows her child doesn’t understand but she still wants to show her the importance of exercising the right to vote.

In San Diego’s City Heights neighborhood, 42-year-old Sean Spicer, who works in marketing, says voting is a civic duty, though he doesn’t like California’s top two primary system, which he says means voting for people “who you think can win not who you believe in.”

In Huntington Beach, preschool teacher Evelyn Corado says she also feels it’s her responsibility to vote. As a naturalized U.S. citizen who came from El Salvador three decades ago, Corado says she votes to raise her voice for those immigrants who can’t yet do so.

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9:30 a.m.

Voters are casting ballots in California’s primary election, setting the stage for November races.

Traffic at polling stations is expected to be light Tuesday because many people have voted in advance.

In San Diego, 42-year-old Sean Spicer says he voted because it’s a civic duty, although he doesn’t like California’s top-two primary system.

In Los Angeles, gubernatorial candidate and former LA Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa was among a few early morning voters casting ballots in the library at Robert F. Kennedy Elementary School.

Democratic Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom is the front-runner in the race for governor and polls show a surge by Republican businessman John Cox. Other major candidates are state Treasurer John Chiang, former education Superintendent Delaine Eastin and Assemblyman Travis Allen.

President Donald Trump tweeted support for Cox.

Categories: California News