John Cox blames regulations for hurting California’s efforts to build homes and roads, and store water.

During a stop in the Fresno area Wednesday (July 18), the Republican gubernatorial candidate promised that things would change if he is elected in November.

Cox, not unexpectedly, also criticized his opponent, Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, who stopped in Fresno just a day earlier.

Housing Tour

Cox started his Fresno appearance by touring a Granville Homes neighborhood in Fresno. He said that the state’s overregulation of building is causing unaffordable housing.

(Disclosure: Granville is the parent company of GV Wire.)

“Housing prices are a crisis here. The housing availability, the affordable nature of it is a real crisis,” Cox said. “It really affects the quality of life for a lot of people.”

Cox said leadership is needed to streamline regulations and bring down approval time and costs. He feels the state needs to provide more incentives to meet a housing goal of 300,000 homes a year.

Cox Talks Water on the Water

Later on Wednesday, Cox held a news conference at where Highway 180 meets the Friant-Kern Canal, north of Reedley.

“This community needs water. It needs a viable economy. Without water, this economy falters; without water, this economy doesn’t work. I’m here to solve problems. My opponent is part of the same Sacramento political class that is not addressing the needs of the Central Valley,” Cox said.

Cox wants to build more storage and supports Proposition 3, a proposed $8.9 billion bond for water infrastructure and watershed projects on the November ballot.

Gas Tax

Democratic candidate Newsom, when asked Tuesday about repealing the gas tax, warned that it would have dire consequences on road projects.

Cox disagreed.

“He’s not telling you the truth. Caltrans spends three to four times what Texas spends on building a mile of road. Instead of reforming Caltrans, instead of using the money efficiently and wisely, they raise taxes. We have more than enough money,” Cox said.

Cox predicted that such efficiencies would double the transportation agency’s output. However, he did not offer specifics.

Quick Takes

— Cox said he backs taking care of the environment, but also believes there needs to be a balance with the “forgotten Californians who depend upon farming. … and depend upon having reasonably priced gasoline to be able to get to their jobs and support their families.”

— Cox downplayed the role that President Donald Trump will play in the campaign.

“(Gavin Newsom) is going to try to make the campaign about Donald Trump. Well, Donald Trump didn’t enact a gas tax. Donald Trump didn’t create the housing crisis. Donald Trump didn’t make our schools 47th in the nation.

“Gavin Newsom has sat there for 15 years, and hasn’t said a peep as our schools have gone down in quality (and) our roads have gotten lousier and lousier. Our taxes have gone up and up. … Gavin Newsom wants to get elected governor? I’m sorry. He has not done anything to solve the problems of the state.”

— Cox said that he would leave solving immigration problems to the federal government: “I love legal immigration. I don’t want people cutting in line.”

— On Proposition 47, which reduced some felonies to misdemeanors: “I think that was misguided. It was championed by my opponent. I think we are seeing the unintended consequences now with an increase of violent crime.”


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