SACRAMENTO — California's race for governor pits Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, a Democrat and former San Francisco mayor, against Republican businessman John Cox. Here's a look at where they stand on issues that have shaped the race:
GAS TAX REPEAL (Proposition 6)
Lawmakers and outgoing Gov. Jerry Brown last year raised gas taxes by 12 cents to 41.7 cents per gallon and vehicle registration fees by $25 to $175 per year to pay for road repairs.
Cox is chairman of the group that collected signatures asking voters to repeal it. He has made rolling back the increases — and requiring voter approval for any future hikes — a centerpiece of a campaign focused on reducing taxes and regulations.
Newsom supports the gas tax increase, saying repeal would end critical road construction happening across the state and take away the jobs that accompany them.
Cox says high taxes are crippling California and contributing to a high cost of living that drives people to more affordable states. He'd like to reduce the income tax and overall state spending, but acknowledged that's unlikely to happen with Democrats controlling the Legislature.
Newsom says he'll begin a long-term process to reform the state's notoriously volatile tax code, which leads the state budget to mirror the stock market's boom and bust cycles. California's income tax rate is too high and not competitive with other states in the West, he says.
"The vast majority of our economy is not taxed, and as a consequence we are very indulgent in taxing the remaining part of our economy," Newsom told The Associated Press.
Newsom declined to say whether he'd like to add a sales tax on services or had other ideas in mind, saying "I want to put everything on the table."
Under Brown and his predecessor, Republican Arnold Schwarzenegger, California has pursued aggressive efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Newsom supports those policies, including a goal of generating 100 percent of energy from clean sources, and pledges to continue them.
"California has a responsibility, has an important international role to play," he said in the lone debate with Cox.
In a contrast with Brown, Newsom opposes hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, a controversial method of extracting oil and gas.
Cox has expressed doubt about the extent to which humans contribute to climate change but doesn't go any deeper, saying he's not a scientist. And he questions the expense attached to the aggressive policies.
"Are we getting enough of an impact on the world's atmosphere to justify the cost to the people of this state?" Cox asked at the same debate.
Newsom advocates policies that help immigrants living illegally in California, including expanded public benefits and legal defenses against deportation. He also wants comprehensive immigration reform at the federal level and opposes building a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border.
"Immigration has advanced the economy of this state in profound and pronounced ways," Newsom said.
Cox frequently blasts California's "sanctuary state" law that restricts cooperation between law enforcement and federal immigration authorities — a policy Newsom supports. He supports building the border wall and calls for more aggressive immigration enforcement.
"I don't want to live next to MS-13 and I don't think any of us do," Cox said earlier this year, referring to a violent gang formed in Los Angeles in the 1980s by El Salvadoran immigrants.