Six candidates for California governor came to UCLA Jan. 25 to debate issues such as immigration policy, health care, education and ethics.

Democrats John Chiang, Gavin Newsom, Antonio Villaraigosa and Delaine Eastin appeared along with Republicans John Cox and Travis Allen.

The 2018 California Gubernatorial Forum was held in Royce Hall. Gary Segura, dean of the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs, spoke at a VIP reception that preceded the debate and later welcomed attendees to the forum, which was sponsored by the Latino Community Foundation, a San Francisco-based group that invests in Latino-led organizations, and moderated by anchors Jorge Ramos and Ilia Calderón of Univision, a television and media company.

The Latino electorate, whose political clout continues to grow in California, could decide the governor’s race, and a focus on issues of importance to minorities was evident throughout the forum. 

“Beyond Latinos, people of color, of all varieties and histories in this nation, are systematically driven from the electoral system, neglected in every aspect of public services, targeted in an unequal justice system, and vulnerable to economic and social exploitation at every turn,” Segura said during the pre-debate reception. “In California, we know we can do better. Tonight, I hope we hear some cogent arguments as to how best to proceed.”

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