John and Sarah Cox meet with the press after dropping off their ballots at the San Diego County Registrar of Voters in 2018. Photo by Chris Jennewein

Rancho Santa Fe resident John Cox, who challenged then Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom in the 2018 governor’s race, has tested positive for COVID-19.

The Republican gubernatorial candidate made the announcement on social media Wednesday.

“Last week after feeling ill with mild flu-like symptoms, and out of the abundance of caution because my wife is immuno-suppressed due to a chronic condition, my physician tested me for COVID-19,” Cox said. “I tested positive and we have been following doctors orders at home and the quarantine protocols regarding this disease.”

Cox, a 64-year-old Illinois transplant, said his symptoms were relatively mild and he was slowly feeling better.

“I decided to go public with this diagnosis to muster support for defeating this without destroying our way of life,” he said. “I’d also hope that this experience should instruct us on doing better in the future to tackle problems like housing and homelessness that this pandemic has highlighted.”

Cox finished second to Newsom in the June 2018 California primary election.

He got 4.7 million votes in the November general election run-off, but Newsom beat him by about 3 million votes.

— City News Service

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Chris Jennewein

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.