Six candidates jockeying to become the next governor of California took the stage in San Jose Tuesday night to participate in a debate less than one month before the June primary.
The Silicon Valley Community Foundation and NBC Bay Area hosted the "Decision 2018: The Race for Governor" debate, moderated by Chuck Todd, NBC News' Political Director and Moderator of "Meet the Press."
The six candidates who participated in the debate were Travis Allen (R), John Chiang (D), John Cox (R), Delaine Eastin (D), Gavin Newsom (D) and Antonio Villaraigosa (D).
The debate focused on a myriad of issues impacting Californians, including housing, transportation, the environment, education, and issues affecting children. The first 30 minutes focused exclusively on issues facing Northern California, followed by an hour of discussion on issues facing the whole state.
The debate began with the topic of homelessness, the state's transportation and gas tax, the economy and education. Then the candidates dived into immigration.
As expected, immigration was a by far the hottest-button issue between the liberals and conservatives on opposite sides:
Eastin: “Central Americans fleeing violence should be welcomed into the border - we have all descended from immigrants.”
Allen, who brought up the Kate Steinle killing to talk about tighter immigration laws: “We must secure our borders; we must end sanctuary cities.”
Newsom: “We celebrate diversity - we are an asylum state. That’s what makes California great.”
Villaraigosa, on caravan immigrants who’re stuck at the border: “If they’re fleeing violence they should be able to seek asylum.”
Cox: “We have wonderful legal immigrants - the issue is illegal immigration - people who’re cutting in line."
On the issue of homelessness, the candidates were in agreement that it needed to be addressed aggressively.
Chiang: “I will bring back redevelopment agencies to create more housing.”
Newsom: “I will create a cabinet to look into the homelessness issue.”
Villaraigosa: “We must end homelessness - we need housing for the homeless.”
Eastin: “The next government should call for an emergency declaration - we’ve to get women and children off the streets.”
Allen: “This is unacceptable - we must enforce the laws.”
Transportation, gas tax
The subject of California's gas tax to support the state's transportation infrastructure and repair its roads was a somewhat contentious one:
Eastin: “We need a gas tax. Our infrastructure is in need of repair.”
Cox: “We don’t need a gas tax."
Villaraigosa: “We haven’t passed a gas tax in this state in 25 years - our bridges and highways need repairs..I support the gas tax.”
Newsom: “We need to extend that gas tax.”
Allen: “California does not need a high-speed rail. If you want to go anywhere in California, you can take Southwest Airlines.”
On education, the candidates agreed on bolstering funds for schools:
Chiang: “We’ve got to invest in early education - in entrepreneurship.”
Eastin, a former state superintendent of public instruction: “We’ve got to invest in education - there’s a lot of work left to be done.”
Villaraigosa: “Talking and tweeting about Trump is not going to make our health care better, our streets safer.”
Eastin: “The president of the United States leaves me jaw-dropping all the time.”
Cox: "I didn't vote for Donald Trump."
To join the conversation online about the debate, use #CAGovDebate on Twitter, and follow @nbcbayarea and @siliconvalleycf.