SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) – Republican John Cox is blasting a recent gas tax increase as he previews a central theme of his uphill campaign for California governor. Cox promoted a ballot measure to repeal the tax hike Monday on the steps of the state Capitol. The San Diego businessman has focused much of his campaign on California’s high cost of living, saying taxes and regulations are driving up the costs of housing, transportation and other everyday necessities. State lawmakers last year raised gas taxes and vehicle registration fees to raise $5 billion a year for road and bridge maintenance. Cox says he’d pay for road construction by making government operate more efficiently. Cox faces Democratic Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, who supports the gas tax hike.