It isn’t likely that California will elect a Republican governor next year given the dissatisfaction with Schwarzenegger, and I haven’t heard too much about Meg Whitman on the GOP side other than she is a prolific fundraiser. Following the trend of Latinos favoring the Democrats in the Golden State, I thought it would be worth noting this article from the Whittier Daily News discussing how San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom and Attorney General Jerry Brown are doing in courting the Latino vote.
A recent poll reveals this:
“Brown enjoys a huge lead in the polls among Latino voters, with 51 percent saying they’d back him compared with to 22 percent for Newsom.”
My take is that the California governor’s race is Jerry Brown’s to lose. He has an established record and is known among older voters and within that category, older Latino voters who have a more established pattern of political participation. Jerry Brown has been an ally of the United Farm Workers, having supported the California Agricultural Labor Relations Act of 1975. Regardless of how relevant or irrelevant the UFW is today in the eyes of Latinos in California, there is a segment of the Latino population that is nostalgic for some of the victories of the past, and that group is likely to fall in Brown’s column.
The Whittier Daily News article also mentions that Gavin Newsom has named State Senator Alex Padilla chair of his statewide campaign. If you remember when we discussed Latino elected officials in California cruising like high rollers, Alex Padilla’s name came up for sticking the taxpayer with a $5,000 bill for 18-inch wheels on a Toyota Camry. That action left me scratching my head, but then again, I’m not a fan of extra chrome or pimping an economy ride to look like something out of a rap video. But back to Newsom, I do think that he will ultimately be remembered in the minds of average voters for advocating on behalf of gay marriage. While I don’t have a problem with that kind of advocacy, the more conservative members of our community probably do and will likely note that. However, Alex Padilla, who comes with his own labor support, could wrestle a bit of the union support away from Brown.