In the Republican gubernatorial primary, California Attorney General Evelle Younger (who was the only Republican elected to a statewide office in the post-Watergate Democratic onslaught in the 1974 California general election) defeated Ed Davis (State Senator and former Los Angeles Police Chief), Ken Maddy (State Senate Minority Leader from Fresno), and Pete Wilson (Mayor of San Diego). Incumbent Jerry Brown had only minor opposition in the Democratic Primary. The primary election included Proposition 13, the initiative authored by Howard Jarvis which sought to drastically reduce property taxes and change the way property taxes were calculated. Younger and most Republicans supported Proposition 13 while Brown and most Democrats opposed it. The initiative passed with 64.8% of the vote; it is still in effect, and many other states passed similar laws.
Primary Election-Republican June 6, 1978
Primary Election-Democratic June 6, 1978