STOCKTON (CBS13) — As we inch closer to the midterm elections, California’s democratic front-runner for governor, Gavin Newsom, is taking a break from his own campaign to focus on helping other Democrats running for office.
Newsom kicked off a statewide bus tour Monday in the Santa Clarita Valley. Wednesday it made a stop in Stanislaus County.
Newsom said he is not taking his own race for granted, instead, he’s using his lead in the polls to help his party retake control of the house.
In front of a small crowd in Modesto, Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom helped cheer on two fellow Democrats, congressional candidate Josh Harder and state senate candidate Anna Caballero.
Newsom is leading the race for governor against Republican John Cox. He told supporters that efforts to retake the house is critical and the future of California and the nation depends on the outcome of the midterm election.
“At the end of the day, we’re not going to be successful in the state unless we have likeminded Democrats that are in the state legislature,” he said.
Those on the other side of the aisle are confident they can keep Republicans in control of the house. They said the country is far better now with President Trump in the White House.
“The economy is pretty strong right now. The unemployment is way down, the stock market is up high, there are more people working than ever before, consumer confidence is high. We are the party of prosperity and opportunity,” said Jim Demartini, chair of the Stanislaus Republican Party.
Harder is running against incumbent Republican Congressman Jeff Denham, who has carried the district three times. Supporters for both sides said it will be one of the most watched races in the state. It will also bring the strongest push to get people to the polls.
“People in this district understand that we are in a 50/50 seat. We got to make sure every single vote counts and that is why it’s so critical because what we are hearing today is that this going to be a seat that could make or break the entire 2018 election,” said Harder.
Candidates say Newsom’s support is important in helping to motivate people to vote in November.