SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Democrats in deep blue California have a digital lock on overwhelming majorities within the state Legislature for the foreseeable future.
However there nonetheless is election drama as voters select amongst candidates for 100 legislative seats in Tuesday’s major election. All 80 seats are up for grabs within the state Meeting, as are half of the seats within the 40-member state Senate.
It’s all of the extra difficult this yr as a result of legislative district boundaries were redrawn to mirror inhabitants shifts after the 2020 census, forcing some incumbents to maneuver or introduce themselves to unfamiliar voters.
A few of the most fascinating contests pit members of the identical political celebration in opposition to one another.
And the electioneering needn’t cease after Tuesday: California’s major system advances the 2 prime vote-getters in every seat to November’s common election irrespective of their political affiliation, so it might take months to resolve some battles.
Right here’s a have a look at three of the extra fascinating races:
SILICON VALLEY SHOWDOWN
Kansen Chu gave up the state Meeting seat he had held for six years to run for the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors in 2020 and be near his now-deceased mom.
He misplaced, and now needs his previous seat again.
But it surely’s now held by Alex Lee, who at age 25 grew to become the youngest California state lawmaker in additional than eight many years.
Chu, 69, stated he needs to make use of his life, work and authorities expertise “to make California a greater state than I discovered it 40-some years in the past” when he immigrated from Taiwan.
Lee “is simply too progressive for most of the voters right here,” Chu stated.
Lee’s expertise got here from working for 5 totally different lawmakers, both as a school intern or a paid aide. His first legislative internship was with Chu himself, in 2015.
“I really feel like I’ve been capable of accomplish extra in my lower than two years in workplace than nevertheless lengthy he’s been in workplace — most likely principally so long as I’ve been alive,” stated Lee, jibing that Chu’s keystone accomplishment was a poll measure aimed toward making daylight saving time year-round in California.
A coalition backed by actual property brokers and landlords is spending greater than $1.2 million to oppose Lee, who has promoted assured housing and tenant protections amongst different points. One opposition mailer famous that Lee “lives along with his mother.”
Additionally working are two different Democrats, Fremont Metropolis Councilmember Teresa Keng and former San Jose Metropolis Councilman Lan Diep.
The highest vote-getting Democrat is prone to once more face Republican Bob Brunton, who’s been trounced repeatedly by each Chu and Lee within the secure Democratic district that features components of Alameda and Santa Clara counties.
It’s one in all two Meeting districts in California the place a majority of the residents are of Asian descent, in line with the California Goal E book that tracks legislative contests.
CENTRAL VALLEY MUSICAL CHAIRS
Legislative remapping drew Sen. Melissa Hurtado into the identical district as Sen. Anna Caballero. Relatively than duke it out with a fellow Democratic incumbent, Hurtado agreed to relocate into the brand new sixteenth Senate District that features Kings County and components of Fresno, Kern and Tulare counties.
However that has her butting heads with former Assemblywoman Nicole Parra and Delano Mayor Bryan Osorio, fellow Democrats who initially deliberate to run for Congress earlier than bidding for the state Senate.
In the meantime, Jane Fonda’s Climate PAC is backing Osorio, together with candidates in different contests, with a video decrying Massive Oil’s affect amongst unnamed Democratic state lawmakers. The winner will assist symbolize the center of California’s petroleum manufacturing area.
Additionally bidding for a top-two probability to advance out of the first election are Republicans David Shepard and Gregory Tatum. Democrats maintain a 13 share level edge in voter registration however the Goal E book places that inside Republicans’ attain within the Central Valley, the place voters are usually extra conservative.
Republicans have turn into a digital non-factor in California’s Capitol, typically leaving enterprise and labor to spar over which candidate is most palatable amongst rival Democrats.
That’s occurring in legislative races up and down the state, and nowhere greater than within the Sacramento County district the place three candidates — all Democrats — are preventing for the possibility to succeed Democratic state Sen. Richard Pan, who phrases out of workplace this yr.
“There’s no Republican within the race in order that’s going to be a Dem vs. Dem runoff,” stated Rob Pyers, California Goal E book analysis director. “However despite that, each side are pounding one another relentlessly within the major.”
Enterprise, housing and regulation enforcement organizations typically are favoring Sacramento Metropolis Councilwoman Angelique Ashby, whereas labor is the mainstay for former Assemblyman Dave Jones. He was the state’s insurance coverage commissioner from 2011 to 2019 and is endorsed by the state Democratic Celebration and Progressive Caucus of the California Democratic Celebration.
Additionally working is union consultant Rafa Garcia.
Greater than $1.6 million in impartial spending has helped gas the competition, which has break up the celebration’s average and progressive wings.
A political motion committee that helps average Democrats, joined by housing, regulation enforcement, pharmaceutical and different lobbying organizations, paid for a billboard and different adverts depicting Jones as a bobblehead doll. The adverts urged voters to not give Jones “the nod” for senator.
Jones says he’s working “to struggle for folks, not huge firms” and says “Massive Oil” is backing Ashby by way of its contributions to the Democratic PAC.