Gavin Newsom and John Cox
Gavin Newsom (left) and John Cox. Campaign photos

Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom began a six-day, statewide bus tour in support of Democratic congressional and legislative candidates in Stevenson Ranch Monday while his Republican opponent, businessman John Cox, called on Gov. Jerry Brown to call a special session of the Legislature to approve an audit of the Department of Motor Vehicles.

Newsom praised Santa Clarita Valley congressional candidate Katie Hill for her efforts to reduce homelessness and Assembly candidate Christy Smith for her experience in educational in a speech at Hill’s campaign office. Newsom was introduced by former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, the third-place finisher in the June gubernatorial primary behind Newsom and Cox.

Hill is executive director of People Assisting the Homeless. Smith is a member of the Newhall School District Board of Education.

Newsom also praised Brown for signing SB 100 Monday. The bill pledges California will obtain 100 percent of its power from clean sources by 2045, including wind, solar and hydropower.

Cox said an audit of the DMV is needed because of long waiting times for service at its offices and errors in voting registration conducted by the department.

“It’s time for Sacramento’s politicians to do their jobs and fix this,” Cox said.

The Cox campaign began airing its first radio commercial of the general election campaign Monday.

The 60-second commercial titled “Struggle” consists of a woman explaining that her life “is a struggle and getting harder,” citing traffic congestion, crumbling roads, rising rents, the state’s poverty rate, the gasoline tax and car registration fee increase, long DMV lines, high food, gas and housing prices, poor schools and homelessness.

Newsom cited statistics about the state’s poverty rate in his appearance in Stevenson Ranch, saying “We must do more and we must do better.”

California has the highest poverty rate among the 50 states when the cost of living is factored in, according to figures released by the Census Bureau.

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