Antonio R. Harvey
California Black Media
California Governor Jerry Brown endorsed Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom at a unity rally earlier this month at the California Democratic Party Headquarters in downtown Sacramento.
In preparation for the General Election in November, organizers of the rally invited other Democratic candidates and supporters.
Brown, the first four-term governor in the history of the state, said he’d do “whatever I can” to get Newsom in office.
“Now, I think I’ve done a hell of a lot,” Gov. Brown said of his last two terms of governing the state. “But, I didn’t do so much where I didn’t leave a lot of problems for Gavin Newsom to solve. I’m not going to outline all the different problems. But I guarantee that there are four years of work for an energetic guy. That’s why I endorse Gavin Newsom.”
Newsom was the only candidate from the Democratic party to emerge out of the state’s top-two primary after the June 5 election. He will face Republican John Cox, a venture capitalist who lives in San Diego. Newsom led the primary election with 33 percent of the votes while Cox finished with 26 percent.
Now that the primary election has passed by, the California Democratic Party is gearing up not only to hold on to the governor’s seat but also trying to pick up certain seats to help take control of the U.S. House of Representatives.
“We still have work to do,” Newsom said. “This election is not over. The next five months we’ve got to double down, not just for the top of the ticket. We will work hard to elect Democrats at every level of government, and yes, take back Congress and put (U.S Congresswoman) Nancy Pelosi back in speakership.”
“As a proud Democrat, it is a remarkable moment to be here in the spirit of unity,” Newsom said. “And in the spirit of that old African proverb, ‘If you want to move fast, go alone. But if you want to go far, go together.’ That’s the spirit of this moment, it’s the spirit of our time, and it’s the spirit of California, the Democratic-led state.”
Newsom and Brown did say things of importance that are of large concern to the African American community in the state of California. Issue such as workers’ rights, the unfulfilled promise of reforming the criminal justice system, and ending mass incarceration are just some of the things the community wants to be addressed.
They also touched on the accomplishments of the work that has been done under the state’s Democratic leadership, including State Senator and member of the California Legislative Black Caucus Holly J. Mitchell’s policies.
“That legacy needs to be built upon,” Newsom said. “And making sure at the same time we invest in the future, earned income tax credit, focusing on paid sick leave, and focusing on the work I see Holly Mitchell and others do. I can go up and down the list for every single one of you and brag on the extraordinary, progressive policies, that you’ve passed and few states in the nation have passed. We’ve got a lot to be proud of.”
State Assemblyman Tony Thurmond was also in attendance and was encouraged by Newsom’s push for unity among the Democratic party. Thurmond will face Marshall Tuck in the November 5 election, as they both were the top-two vote getters vying for the state’s Superintendent of Public Instruction in the primary.
Thurmond would be the second African American to serve in the position and the only Black person holding a statewide office should he win in November. He has known Newsom for nearly two decades and through the years have seen how he connects with the Black community.
“I thought it was a great event today. I thought it was a great show of unity of the Democratic Party getting behind Gavin Newsom,” Thurmond said. “I think he’ll do a great job of keeping those (Black) issues alive.”