Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, Mayor Robert Garcia and Councilwoman Lena Gonzalez at Fingerprints Music where Garcia announced his endorsement of Newsom as California's next governor. Photo by Jason Ruiz.
With the race to replace outgoing Governor Jerry Brown heating up Mayor Robert Garcia decided to make clear who he’s supporting going into next year’s election as he endorsed Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom at a press event inside Fingerprints Music Thursday afternoon.
Garcia lauded Newsom for his stances on progressive issues dating back to his time as mayor of San Francisco. Newsom has been supportive of issues ranging from immigration to universal healthcare in California but for Garcia it was his stance on same sex marriage that stuck with him before adding that he was “100 percent in” on endorsing Newsom for governor.
“I remember seeing Gavin Newsom on TV, as mayor of San Francisco telling the country and the world that gay people, the LGBTQ community were equal and should be allowed the right to marry,” said Garcia, who recently proposed to his longtime partner. “That moment, and I think a lot of you probably remember that moment as well, it impacted me, a piece of my heart was really really touched by that moment and I remember that moment very clearly.”
The 50-year-old Newsom, who endorsed Garcia prior to his winning the mayorship in Long Beach in 2014, is part of a crowded field of candidates vying to become California’s next governor but he is widely believed to be one of the frontrunners for the job. He’s been a constant critic of the Trump administration and the Republican-controlled Congress, most recently focusing his attention on the GOP tax bill that could have dire consequences on states like California.
Newsom has been an advocate for tighter gun-control laws, legalizing recreational marijuana—both issues were decided by voters at the ballot box last year—and also a supporter of possibly bringing single-payer healthcare to California and investing in higher education.
However, he stated that with the tax overhaul working its way through Congress right now, the items he’s currently pushing as his platform could look different by the time of next year’s election.
“You have to be flexible,” Newsom said. “There’s nothing that’s etched in stone here. What works literally in the moment in 48 hours may no longer work.”
He referenced proposed affordable housing tax credits and the possible loss of the Obamacare mandates—these require residents to enroll for healthcare coverage or pay a fine at the end of the year—that could significantly change the calculus of whoever becomes the state’s next governor. In a word, he said the tax plan’s impacts would be “profound”.
Whether the tax plan is passed in its current state, or passed at all, Newsom said he wants to figure out a way to fight through the divisiveness that has engulfed the country and state, adding that he wants to move past the “north vs. south” or “coastal vs. inland” narratives and unify Californians.
“I’m going to represent you equally, not just the folks in the northern part of the state but the folks all over the state of California,” Newsom said. “I have a special obligation to all of you to make that point, not just rhetorically but substantively.”