Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom was proclaimed California’s Governor-elect shortly after the 8 p.m. poll closures Tuesday night, with Newsom’s lead continuing to widen throughout the evening; the current semi-official results show Newsom as having claimed 59.4 percent of the vote as of this writing. Democrat Eleni Kounalakis will become the new Lt. Governor after holding off former State Senator and fellow Democrat Ed Hernandez (D-Azusa).
Superintendent of Public Instruction
Following a campaign that saw a significant uptick in spending, the SPI race between former Green Dot Public Schools president Marshall Tuck and Assemblymember Tony Thurmond (D-Richmond) is still too close to call; Tuck holds a 50.7 percent to 49.7 percent lead over Thurmond as of this writing –a lead of approximately 86,000 votes.
The lone CSBA-opposed measure on the ballot, Proposition 5, was soundly defeated with 58 percent of voters rejecting a property tax rate transfer measure that would have resulted in an estimated $1 billion loss to public schools. CSBA did not adopt a position on any other 2018 propositions.
California Legislature/ School Board Caucus
Two current or former governing board members sought election to the Assembly, with a very close race between Newhall USD board member Christy Smith (D) and incumbent Dante Acosta (R-Santa Clarita). Acosta holds a slim 50.5 to 49.5 percent lead over Smith as of this writing, with the results still too close to call. Republican and former Orange COE and Anaheim Union HSD board member Alexandria “Alex” Coronado came up just short in her bid to unseat incumbent Sharon Quirk-Silva (D-Fullerton), with Coronado nabbing 47.2 percent of the vote as of this writing.
There are currently 15 members of the Legislature who formerly served on a school district or county board, down from 16 with Tony Thurmond (formerly of West Contra Costa USD) leaving his Assembly seat.
The Democrats bid for a Legislative supermajority (which requires 54 seats in the Assembly and 27 in the Senate) looks to have been successful, although it did not come as expected. In the Central Valley Senate District 14, Democrat challenger Melissa Hurtado pulled off a surprising upset over incumbent Andy Vidak (R-Hanford), giving Democrats the seat they needed for a two-thirds vote.
One other Senate seat still hangs in the balance, with Assemblymember Anna Caballero (D-Salinas) currently holding a 1,000-vote margin over Republican Rob Poythress in the race for the District 12 seat, formerly held by the termed-out Anthony Cannella (R-Ceres). If that result holds, Democrats would hold 28 Senate seats.
Democrats’ seat count of 55 in the Assembly was padded after picking up the District 40 and 76 seats (both formerly held by Republicans who vacated the seats to pursue other elected office), meaning that Democrats will likely hold at least 57 of the 80 seats. One currently Democrat-held Assembly seat is still too close to call, with incumbent Sabrina Cervantes (D-Riverside) in a dead-heat battle with Republican challenger Bill Essayli in District 60. Incumbent Matthew Harper (R-Huntington Beach), a former Huntington Beach Union High School District board member, is also in a tight race with 50.3 percent of the vote over Democrat challenger Cottie Petrie-Norris.
New Faces in the California Legislature:
Assembly 15 (Richmond/Berkeley): Buffy Wicks (D) wins seat vacated by Tony Thurmond (D).
Assembly 30 (Salinas): Robert Rivas (D) wins seat vacated by termed-out Anna Caballero (D).
Assembly 40 (San Bernardino): James Ramos (D) wins seat vacated by Marc Steinorth (R).
Assembly 72 (North Orange County): Tyler Diep (R) wins seat vacated by Travis Allen (R).
Assembly 76 (Oceanside): Tasha Boerner Horvath (D) wins seat vacated by Rocky Chavez (R).
Senate 8 (Gold Country/Fresno): Andreas Borgeas (R) wins seat vacated by termed-out Tom Berryhill (R).
Senate 14 (Fresno/Delano): Melissa Hurtado (D) wins seat over Andy Vidak (R-Hanford).
Senate 16 (Visalia/Bakersfield): Shannon Grove (R) wins seat vacated by termed-out Jean Fuller (R).
Senate 22 (San Gabriel Valley): Susan Rubio (D) wins seat vacated by termed out Ed Hernandez (D).
Senate 24 (East L.A.): Maria Elena Durazo (D) wins seat vacated by termed out Kevin de Leon (D).
Senate 32 (Norwalk/Whittier): Bob Archuleta (D) wins seat vacated by Vanessa Delgado (D), who was elected in June to serve the remainder of the term vacated by the deposed Tony Mendoza (D).
Senate 38 (Northeast San Diego): Brian Jones (R, former Assemblymember) wins seat vacated by termed out Joel Anderson (R).
While several California races were considered key to determining which party would control the House of Representatives, most news outlets forecast that Democrats would pick up the necessary 23 seats (and then some) to win control the House even before results began to filter in from California and other West Coast states. Democratic control of the House puts current House Minority Leader and former Speaker Nancy Pelosi of San Francisco in line for a potential return to the Speaker’s chair.
Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein held off a challenge from former California State Senate President pro Tem Kevin de Leon to retain her long-held Senate seat for a sixth term. Republicans kept control of and padded their majority in the Senate, with Texas Republican Ted Cruz retaining his seat in a tight race with upstart Democrat Beto O’Rourke, and Democrat incumbents Heidi Heitkamp (North Dakota) and Joe Donnelly (Indiana) being upended by Republicans Kevin Cramer and Mike Braun, respectively.
Note: CSBA does not endorse individual candidates for elected office in any local or statewide races. The content of this report is for informational purposes only and does not constitute an endorsement for any candidate(s).