WASHINGTON – California primary voters on Tuesday put to rest Republican worries that they would get shut out of the Golden State's gubernatorial race, but they chose two Democrats to compete for the Senate.
Republican John Cox, a business executive backed by President Trump, beat former Los Angeles mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, a Democrat, for the second slot in the state's jungle primary system, which sends the top two vote winners to the general election, regardless of their party.
Cox will be up against Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, a Democrat and former San Francisco mayor, who came in first in the primary.
Sen. Dianne Feinstein, a Democrat in her fourth term, took the lead in her primary and will face another Democrat — state Sen. Kevin de León — in the general election.
Feinstein was criticized by liberal activists after she suggested she could work with the Trump administration. The state party didn't endorse Feinstein this year.
Polling this year in the governor's race suggested the race would put Newsom in the lead and Villaraigosa in second. Cox picked up steam with Republicans after receiving Trump's endorsement last month.
Wednesday, Trump tweeted his congratulations to Cox, writing, "He can win."
Tuesday, Newsom called Cox a "foot soldier" in Trump's "war in California," The Sacramento Bee reported.
They are running to replace Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown, who is term-limited.
California was one of eight states to hold primaries Tuesday night.
Votes were still being counted in many of California's congressional races, which are key to Democrats' chances to win majority control of the House of Representatives.
They target seven districts held by Republicans that presidential candidate Hillary Clinton won in 2016.
Democrats need a net gain of 23 seats nationally to win control of the House.
A Democrat and Republican will compete in an Orange County seat. Republican Young Kim, a former assemblywoman, took the lead in the 39th District, which Clinton won by more than 8 percentage points in 2016. Kim will face Democrat Gil Cisneros, a former Navy officer and lottery winner who became a philanthropist, bidding to replace GOP Rep. Ed Royce, who is retiring.