The Latest: Republicans trade barbs over gas tax

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — The Latest on the California gubernatorial debate (all times local):

7:10 p.m.

Republican candidates for California governor have sparred over their competing efforts to repeal the state’s recent gas tax increase.

Huntington Beach Assemblyman Travis Allen and businessman John Cox both claim to be the strongest opponent of the 12-cent-per-gallon increase approved by the Legislature last year.

During Tuesday’s televised debate in Sacramento, Allen said he was the first to launch an initiative drive against the gas tax.

Cox said his initiative was the only one to get enough signatures to qualify for the ballot. Elections officials are currently verifying the validity of those signatures to see whether voters will decide the issue in November.

Meanwhile, Democratic front runner Gavin Newsom says fixing roads requires more money, not less.

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7 p.m.

The leading candidates for California governor are calling for bold action to address the state’s epidemic of homelessness and its rising housing costs.

The candidates sparred in a Sacramento debate televised statewide on Tuesday.

Republican Travis Allen called for tough enforcement of loitering restrictions and other laws to crack down on the homeless. He also said people living on the street should be housed in state institutions.

Democrats called for more support services to help people facing homelessness address addiction and mental health issues and find permanent homes.

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12 a.m.

California’s top-two primary has created new incentives for odd political alliances.

The Democratic front-runner, Gavin Newsom, has a new ad attacking Republican rival John Cox as an ally of President Donald Trump and the NRA. It’s just the kind of message that could benefit Cox as he seeks to consolidate Republican voters ahead of the June 5 primary.

All gubernatorial candidates are on the same primary ballot and the top two, regardless of party, advance to the November runoff. That means candidates aren’t staying in their Republican or Democratic lanes as they would in a traditional primary.

Newsom wants to face a Republican. But Cox is locked in a struggle for second place with former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, a Democrat.

The three, alongside Republican Travis Allen and Democrats John Chiang and Delaine Eastin will be on stage Tuesday for a debate.

Categories: California News