Newsom ad highlights odd incentives of top-2 primary

Drew Furedi Antonio Villaraigosa
The Associated Press

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — 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.

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