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Gavin Newsom

Governor candidates spar on vision for California

Republican John Cox entered the only scheduled debate in the campaign for California governor on Monday as an underdog in need of a race-altering breakthrough. He didn't get it.

Instead, at a time when politics in Washington and across the nation are marked by bitter partisan fights, the hour-long radio debate between Cox and Democrat Gavin Newsom remained civil, with the candidates sparring on policy and mostly avoiding personal attacks.

Cox, a businessman from the San Diego area, batted away questions about his past statements opposing gay marriage and declined to take a position on the appointment of Brett Kavanaugh to the U.S. Supreme Court.

He stuck closely...