Political Notebook

High-speed rail is ‘biggest point of departure’ between gubernatorial candidates, Cox says

Supporting the “train to nowhere” separates governor candidates, Republican Cox says

California governor candidate John Cox slams Democratic candidate Gavin Newsom for his support of California's high-speed rail project during a brief stop in Fresno.
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California governor candidate John Cox slams Democratic candidate Gavin Newsom for his support of California's high-speed rail project during a brief stop in Fresno.

Republican California gubernatorial candidate John Cox stopped in Fresno for his #HelpIsOnTheWay statewide tour Thursday afternoon.

To a small crowd of media only, Cox discussed issues facing the high-speed rail project while near an active construction site for an overpass.

“It really is the train to nowhere, isn’t it?” Cox said as he stepped off this tour bus and looked at an unfinished rail along Highway 99.

His opponent, Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, strongly supports the project, an issue Cox says he and Newsom differ the most on.

“The train to nowhere represents the biggest point of departure between me and my opponent in this race,” said Cox, adding that the project is a “monument of corruption and unproductive spending.”

Cox said he supports mass transit and transportation infrastructure, however he believes in improving airports and highways to improve mobility in the state.

Although the project has provided more than 3,000 full-time jobs in Fresno County, Cox said it’s not a reason to continue funding the project.

And while the project would help to alleviate pollutants in the air, the real contributor to the air quality is forest fires, he said.

“They are neglecting to manage the forests,” he said, adding, “(They) are allowing these forest fires to turn into infernos and dumping millions of tons of carbon into the atmosphere, which makes global warming worse, which makes the whole air quality worse.”

Cox also touched on affordable housing in the state. He said one of his goals if he were elected governor, is “broadly” making sure housing is available on an affordable basis.

“I’m going to represent the people, not the special interests,” Cox said of the difference between Newsom and himself.

Jessica Johnson: 559-441-6051, @iamjesslj
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