Los Angeles Times

With recession in the rear view, a more upbeat California looks to choose a new governor

VACAVILLE, Calif. - Standing beneath a radiant blue sky, Mary Cox set aside her broom and counted the blessings of living in California.

Sure, taxes are high - especially compared with Indiana, where she lived a few years ago - and there's a lot of government red tape, as she's learned owning a tavern in this charming bedroom community midway between San Francisco and Sacramento.

But crime isn't a big problem here, the schools in Vacaville are better than they were in Indianapolis, and the weather, the 47-year-old Cox said as she smiled at the crystalline morning, couldn't be finer.

While Cox swept up, her sister and business partner, Anna Louzon, 37, wandered out to the parking lot and joined the conversation. "Certainly there's a higher cost to living here," she said. "But anywhere else you live doesn't have the beach, the snowy mountains and the desert all within a two-hour drive of your house."

As California chooses a new governor - one of just

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