California State Treasurer and 2018 gubernatorial candidate John Chiang began his campaign by taking aim at Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom, who is so far seen as the frontrunner in the Democrat-heavy race.
“I’m always the underdog,” Chiang said in an interview outside the Gallery Cafe at Mason and Washington streets, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. “I wasn’t born into a family with wealth or big connections, and that is what people respect.”
Newsom was born into a politically well-connected San Francisco family in 1967. His father, William Newsom — a retired state appeals court judge — is friends with Gordon Getty, heir to the Getty Oil fortune.
The Chronicle pointed out that Chiang is not a household name like Newsom or former Los Angeles Mayor and fellow 2018 gubernatorial candidate Antonio Villaraigosa, despite being elected to statewide office thrice.
Upon announcing his candidacy in May, Chiang said, “As your next Governor, I have a blueprint for expanding and renewing the California dream through fixing our crumbling infrastructure, making retirement security our generation’s call to arms, and rebuilding California’s middle class through better jobs and improved educational opportunities.” He added, “It’s a statewide governor’s race, so it’s going to be expensive.”
A newly-released Berkeley IGS Poll that shows Chiang with just five percent of support from voters so far.
Breitbart News reported that same poll found Villaraigosa had gained six points on Newsom since March. As it stands, Villaraigosa has the support of 17 percent of likely voters who were surveyed, compared to 22 percent who are likely to vote for Newsom.
Support for former state schools superintendent Delaine Eastin, and Republicans John Cox and David Hadley, was reportedly also in the single digits.
However, with 37% of voters having stated they have no preference, the 2018 gubernatorial contest could be closer than was originally thought.