- Associated Press - Tuesday, March 7, 2017

LOS ANGELES (AP) - The list of candidates seeking to become California’s next governor is getting longer.

Republican businessman and investor John Cox formally announced his candidacy for the 2018 contest in an online statement Tuesday.

The San Diego-area resident - who previously ran for Congress and U.S. Senate in Illinois, and for president in 2008 - wants to ease California’s high tax rates, address its multibillion-dollar public pension crisis and improve the business climate.

“There are two Californias - the one we have, and the one we could have,” he said.

As a Republican, Cox enters the race at a disadvantage in a state where Democrats hold every statewide office and control both chambers of the Legislature by wide margins. Democrats have a large edge over Republicans in voter registrations, a nearly 3.7-million advantage.



Prominent Democrats hoping to succeed Gov. Jerry Brown include Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, state Treasurer John Chiang and former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa.

Among his ideas, Cox, 61, wants to remake a state Legislature that he said is responsive to lobbyists and political donors who fund campaigns, not voters.

“I have a plan to make legislative districts small enough that anyone can run, and they won’t need special interest money to do it,” Cox said in a statement. He would also cut the legislative budget by one-third.

The accountant-lawyer grew up in Chicago and later opened real estate management and investment firms, according to his website.

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