An old saying, “It’s all over but the shouting” doesn’t necessarily apply to the final outcomes in a number of California legislative and congressional districts. In fact, a more fitting saying is perhaps, “It’s all over but the counting,” as there are at least 4 million ballots waiting to be counted at the county registrar of voters offices.
Moreover, thousands more likely have yet to arrive, and those too must be counted. A new California law requires that ballots need only to be postmarked by November 8. This clearly creates an additional level of uncertainty that lingers over a number of close legislative races.
One Party Super Majority
Still there are election outcomes and trends that are notable and safe to predict. The epic fight by the GOP to prevent the Democratic two-thirds super majority appears to have been lost in the Assembly.
At present, of the eight Assembly seats the GOP had to defend, it appears the party has lost three. On the losing end were Eric Linder in the Corona-based Assembly District 60, Young Kim in the Fullerton area Assembly District 65 and David Hadley in the Torrance-based Assembly District 66.
The Assembly Democrats will most likely have a 55-25 super majority for the next two years. On the Senate side, the Republicans appear to have fared better and are currently holding the two GOP open seats. This is subject to change as the GOP candidate in the open Senate District 29, Ling Ling Chang (Diamond Bar), is clinging to a narrow lead that could be erased as the final ballots are counted.
In races where two Democratic candidates squared off against one another, the business community continued to add to the number of moderate Democrats.
Promoting moderate or business-friendly Democrats has helped the employer community fight off the job killing impulses of the labor-backed progressive legislative agenda.
Senate pro-business Democratic major victories include the election of Bill Dodd in Senate District 3, which includes portions of Napa, Sonoma, Solano and Yolo counties. Dodd won with support from large sectors of the business community and the education reform coalition. The California Chamber of Commerce supported Dodd directly by contributing to his campaign.
In the San Francisco-based Senate District 11, Democrat Scott Weiner was elected with the help of local business leaders, education reformers, real estate interests and CalChamber.
Moderate Democrats added to their ranks in the Assembly in a number of intra-party races:
• Tim Grayson won in Assembly District 14, an open East San Francisco Bay Area district, with major backing from education reformers, energy companies, agriculture and CalChamber.
• Marc Berman will represent Assembly District 24, an open San Mateo area seat. He was heavily backed by real estate, agriculture and medical organizations.
• The open Salinas-area Assembly District 30 will again be represented by Anna Caballero, who previously served two terms before accepting a post in the Brown administration. CalChamber supported Caballero early on, and her campaign received most of its support from charter school proponents.
• Raul Bocanegra will return to the Assembly by regaining his Los Angeles-area seat, Assembly District 39, with backing from CalChamber, energy companies and insurance interests.
• Laura Friedman won in Assembly District 43, a Burbank/Glendale district, with heavy backing from charter school proponents, medical insurance interests and CalChamber.
In addition to the loss of the GOP seats, Democratic Assemblywoman Cheryl Brown, a CalChamber friend, appears to have lost her Assembly District 47 seat in San Bernardino County to fellow Democrat Eloise Gomez Reyes. This loss came despite the best efforts of business groups, including energy companies, insurance interests and telecom companies.
Finally, in the open Assembly District 27, another intra-party battle saw business-backed Madison Nguyen likely lose to labor-backed Ash Kalra.
Enjoy the bliss of silence as this bruising political cycle has concluded, but remember that while there is no more shouting for the next 30 days, there will be lots of counting.
Stay current on the election results in our key districts by visiting our election website: election.calchamber.com