Trends in California Legislative Races

This election is one that seems like it will never end. While a significant number of ballots are still left to be counted—and perhaps many more remain in the hands of the U.S. Postal Service that are eligible to be counted if they arrive in the local registrar’s office by November 20—there are some noteworthy trends taking shape in California’s legislative races.

At this point, the outcome in some of the key races for the California Assembly and Senate is uncertain. These matchups that attract big bucks from the various interest groups will be some of the last ones called.

Still, there are some trends emerging that, if they hold, will be interesting to California political observers. Early signs that are encouraging for Republicans in the Assembly are that no GOP incumbent appears to have lost their seat. Strong showings in Orange County indicate incumbent Republicans Philip Chen (AD 45), Steven Choi (AD 68) and Janet Nguyen in an open seat (AD 72) are poised for victory.

Other incumbent Republicans that appear to have survived are Jordan Cunningham (AD 35), Tom Lackey (AD 36) and first-time candidate Suzette Vallardares (AD 38), who was in a runoff with another Republican.

Less rosy for Republicans is in the Senate and the apparent loss of two seats: Ling Ling Chang (SD 29) and John Moorlach (SD 37). Too close to call are Republicans Scott Wilk (SD 21) and Rosilicie Ochoa Bogh (SD 23), running in an open GOP seat.

Competitive Senate runoffs featuring two Democrats favor incumbent Scott Wiener (SD 11) and Dave Cortese (SD 15), an open seat.

All other Senate and Assembly incumbents from both parties on Tuesday’s ballot easily cruised to victory.

Staff Contact: Martin R. Wilson

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Martin R. Wilson joined the CalChamber in October 2011. He oversees all the CalChamber’s public affairs activities and campaign, including the Public Affairs Council, a political advisory committee made up of the CalChamber’s major members; its candidate recruitment and support program; and its political action committees: ChamberPAC, which supports pro-jobs candidates and legislators, and CalBusPAC, which qualifies, supports and/or opposes ballot initiatives. He also serves as the CalChamber liaison to JobsPAC, an employer-based independent expenditure committee that supports pro-jobs candidates. Wilson has more than 40 years of experience in California politics, playing leadership roles in the election and re-election of two governors and a U.S. senator. He also has orchestrated numerous successful ballot measure campaigns, and has served in government as a senior staff member at the local, state and federal levels. He graduated from San Diego State University with a B.A. in history.