New California Governor Newsom takes helm as Democrats increase dominance

By Sharon Bernstein

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (Reuters) – Democrat Gavin Newsom will be sworn in as California’s 40th governor on Monday, cementing the dominance of his party’s progressive wing and ushering in a leftward shift that could give the most populous U.S. state an even greater role as a counterweight to the policies of Republican President Donald Trump.

Newsom, who led efforts to legalize same-sex marriage and was the political force behind the state’s decision to legalize marijuana, sweeps into office with a three-fourths Democratic majority in the state legislature, dominance that could make the state a bellwether as the national party jockeys to find a candidate to run against Trump in 2020.

“Californians will be looking to Governor Newsom to provide leadership in areas where there are differences in policy between California and Washington, areas like immigration, environment and health,” said Mark Baldassare, president of the Public Policy Institute of California, a nonpartisan

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