Governor candidates’ debate cost of living, criminal justice

The two men hoping to be California's next governor said during a debate that the cost of living is the top issue facing the state.

Republican John Cox and Democrat Gavin Newsom squared off at San Francisco public radio station KQED — their only face-off ahead of the November election.

Newsom, the state's lieutenant governor, said closing the gap between rich and poor Californians is paramount and pledged to tackle what he called the "vexing issues" of housing affordability and homelessness.

He said "The California dream is predicated on social mobility.”

Cox, in the meantime, had laid blame for Californians' problems on Newsom.

Cox said "Gavin's been part of the political class that has led this state downward.”

The two also sparred on criminal justice reform, gun control and the environment while Newsom repeatedly tried to tie Cox to Republican President Trump.

Dawn Kamber