Trump backs leading Republican in Calif. gubernatorial race: 'John Cox is the man'

Trump backs leading Republican in Calif. gubernatorial race: 'John Cox is the man'

President TrumpDonald John TrumpCNN's Camerota clashes with Trump's immigration head over president's tweet LA Times editorial board labels Trump 'Bigot-in-Chief' Trump complains of 'fake polls' after surveys show him trailing multiple Democratic candidates MORE on Friday threw his support behind Republican businessman John Cox in California's gubernatorial race, telling voters "he’ll be the best Governor you’ve ever had."

"California finally deserves a great Governor, one who understands borders, crime and lowering taxes. John Cox is the man - he’ll be the best Governor you’ve ever had," Trump tweeted.

"I fully endorse John Cox for Governor and look forward to working with him to Make California Great Again!"

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Cox is currently the leading Republican in the deep-blue state's race to replace Gov. Jerry Brown (D), who is serving out his final term in office.

Under California's jungle primary system, the top two vote-getters at the June 5 contest — regardless of party affiliation — will advance to the general election in November. 

For his part, Cox has cast himself as a staunch ally of Trump, particularly on the issue of so-called sanctuary cities and immigration. The candidate's most recent ad claims that he is "leading the opposition to Jerry Brown’s sanctuary state."

Trump and his administration have repeatedly criticized Brown and California's Democratic leadership while targeting them in lawsuits. The Justice Department has so far sued the state for its "sanctuary laws," as well as a law limiting transfers of federal land.

California officials have also sued the Trump administration, including over the president's decision to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program in September. That program temporarily shielded certain immigrants who came to the country illegally as children from deportation, and gave them permission to work in the U.S.