“Democrats aren’t just competing – aren’t just surviving here in the Valley, they are beginning to thrive in the Valley,” Newsom told a small, crowded Fresno Democratic Party headquarters in downtown Fresno.
“This is no longer folks out there sort of cynically saying ‘well, we don’t have much of a chance out here but we’re going to just tacitly support some folks.’ We expect to win out here. TJ Cox and Melissa Hurtado are going to win out here.”
Cox, a Fresno businessman, is running against Hanford Republican David Valadao in California’s 21st congressional district. Hurtado, a Sanger city councilwoman, has challenged Republican Andy Vidak in the 14th state senate district.
Hurtado and Cox made brief introductory statements before handing the microphone to Newsom, who covered a wide variety of Democratic platforms in a 20-minute speech.
Newsom discussed water and immigration at length, saying “no community has more to lose than this one” in the ongoing immigration debate.
“This is a son and daughter of immigrants,” Newsom said of Cox and Hurtado. “It is a profoundly significant part of the California story and the California dream, and I couldn’t be more proud to be here this morning with these two outstanding individuals.”
Newsom, who is leading in the polls, has spent the week campaigning for other Democrats across the state during a bus tour. He appeared in Modesto later in the afternoon.
The appearance was another feather in the campaign cap of TJ Cox, who has been flooded with cash and big-name endorsements since moving into the District 21 race from the crowded District 10 race. On Saturday, former President Barack Obama held a rally to benefit Cox and several other challengers in Republican districts Democrats deem flippable.
The 21st District holds a Democratic majority, and 2016 voters approved Democrat Hillary Clinton over President Donald Trump by 16 percentage points.
On Wednesday, Cox said Newsom’s and Obama’s appearances showed a progressive, common sense alignment between his message and those of Newsom and Obama.
“(Newsom) could be campaigning for any of these seven seats that Hillary won,” Cox said. “But if we flip this seat, we will make the most profound difference for the lives of people living in the district.”
He continued: “You flip a seat in Orange County or Huntington Beach, you’re still going to wake up in Huntington Beach. Here, you’re going to put food on the table for the kids, provide more jobs and healthcare access.”