John Cox wants to join the 19 other businessmen now serving as governors across the country.
The odds are stacked against him. The Republican ran for three different political offices in Illinois and lost each time. He announced in 2006 that he was running for president, but dropped out that same year and never appeared on a single primary ballot.
And California has become one of the most reliably Democratic states in the country.
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Still, a poll this month gave Cox (pictured above) 22 percent of the vote, 4 percentage points behind the front-runner — Democratic Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom — in the state’s everyone-runs-at-once electoral system. The top-two finishers in the first round, regardless of party, face off in the general election.
“Look at California as a microcosm of what’s going on in other big states like Illinois and New York and Connecticut,” Cox said Wednesday morning on “The Laura Ingraham Show.” “What’s happened is that the immense funding power of the public sector unions, and of course combined with the big businesses like AT&T and Verizon and other people — they just carve up the state for themselves and then what they do is impose incredible regulations, incredible taxes. They have driven up the cost of living with environmental extremist policies.”
Cox said Gov. Jerry Brown’s would-be replacements, such as Newsom, would make the state even worse.
“It’s another distraction by the Democrats, who have run this state into the ground.”
“California needs a turnaround,” he said.
Cox founded a law firm specializing in corporate law and tax planning in 1981. In 1985 he founded a company offering investment counseling, tax and retirement planning and asset protection. He also started a real estate company.
He told Ingraham that California politicians use “sanctuary city” policies as a diversion. He pledged to eliminate California’s sanctuary state law on his first day in office.
“It’s another distraction by the Democrats, who have run this state into the ground,” he said.
Cox praised Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ legal attack on those sanctuary policies.
“I’m happy that Jeff Sessions is coming here and announcing a lawsuit,” he said. “It’s long overdue, as far as I’m concerned.”
Cox said housing, water, gas and electricity costs are crushing the middle class in California.
“We have the highest poverty rate,” he said. “U.S. News just rated this state 50 out of 50 in quality of life.”