2018 California Primary State Election Results

June 6, 2018
By Manny Heer

As results from yesterday’s California Primary Elections continue trickling in, CLSA’s state government relations team would like to share a brief update on some anticipated changes in the makeup of our California Legislature, and offer additional details on several key California races you may be interested in. Please note that in some seats, the ballots are still being counted; therefore, the percentages may not be accurate. County officials will complete the counting process before July 6, 2018.

U.S. Senate

Dianne Feinstein (D) – 43.8%

Kevin De Leon (D) – 11.3%

State Senator Kevin De Leon will appear on the November ballot to face-off against incumbent Senator Dianne Feinstein. De Leon, a strong supporter of “sanctuary state” will square off against longtime Senator Feinstein who has previously said that she could work with the Trump Administration on immigration issues.  It is worth noting that Senator Feinstein did not receive her party endorsement.

Governor’s Race

Gavin Newsom (D) – 33.3%

John Cox (R) – 26.2%

It was no surprise that Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom led the pack, receiving one-third of the ballots cast. Antonio Villaraigosa was not able to secure one of the top two spots and trailed behind Republican John Cox. Due to an error, nearly 120,000 voter names did not appear on voter rolls in Los Angeles County. This error could delay the count of outstanding ballots. Assemblyman Travis Allen finished fourth and Treasurer John Chiang behind him in fifth spot.

Lieutenant Governor

Eleni Kounalakis (D) – 23.4%

Ed Hernandez (D) – 20.8%

In a very expensive race, Eleni Kounalakis, an ex-ambassador to Hungary, edged out State Senator Ed Hernandez for the top spot. Kounalakis and her father, a prominent developer in Sacramento contributed $9 million to the campaign.

Attorney General

Xavier Becerra (D) – 45.3%

Stephen Bailey (R) – 25.3%

Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones, who received only 14.5% of the ballot, was unable to receive the top two spots for this race. Incumbent Becerra and Republican Stephen Bailey, a retired judge, will advance to the run-off in November.

Insurance Commissioner

Steve Poizner (NPP) – 41.3%

Ricardo Lara (D) – 40.6%

Making history, Steve Poizner, an Independent candidate, edged out State Senator Ricardo Lara for the top spot, but both will move on to the November runoff. Despite spending huge sums of money, Dr. Asif Mahmood (D) received only 13% of the ballot.

Senate District 29 (Newman Recalled)

The voters of district 29 have recalled State Senator Josh Newman by a margin of 60% to 40%. This recall stemmed from the gas tax increase Mr. Newman voted on. This seat will be filled by former Assemblywoman Ling Ling Chang (R) who previously lost this seat to Mr. Newman in 2016. Most importantly, because of this recall, the majority party will lose their supermajority in the upper house.

Senate District 32

This special election was held due to State Senator Tony Mendoza’s resignation over allegations of improper behavior. Residents of the 32nd Senate District voted twice. They were asked first to choose from among 11 candidates to complete Mr. Mendoza’s current term, which ends in December, and then among the candidates competing fill the seat for the new term that begins in January.

Mendoza was on both ballots, but received far less voter support in the race for the January term. In that contest, Rita Topalian (R) again led the way, but Vanessa Delgado (D) slipped to third place, with Democrat Bob Archuleta claiming the second spot in the November runoff. Mr. Mendoza finished a distant fourth.

Assembly District 39

Luz Maria Rivas (D) – 69%

Ricardo Benitez (R) – 30.2%

Luz Maria Rivas, a former Los Angeles public works commissioner, defeated Republican Ricardo Antonio Benitez, a business owner, in the race to complete the term of Raul Bocanegra — who resigned in November 2017, in the face of sexual harassment allegations.

Assembly District 45

Jesse Gabriel (D) – 63.8%

Justin Clark (R) – 36.2%

Jesse Gabriel, a constitutional rights attorney and a member of the county Commission on Local Government Services, beat Republican Justin Clark, a 19-year-old Cal State Northridge student, to fill the remainder of former Assemblymember Matt Dababneh. Mr. Dababneh resigned due to harassment allegations.

Assembly district 58

Christina Garcia (D) – 28.7%

Mike Simpfenderfer (R) – 26.7%

Assemblymember Garcia was targeted by the State Building & Construction Trades after the allegations of inappropriate behavior. However, she managed to receive to 28.7% of the vote to face a republican in November. This is considered a safe democratic seat.

Races of interest

Assembly District 7

Elizabeth Warren (D) – 25.7%

Tasha Boerner Horvath (D) – 25.2%

This is a vacant republican seat due to Assemblymember Rocky Chavez running for the congress. The top two qualifiers for this seat are democrats with republican Phil Graham trailing in third by almost 5 percentage points. This safe republican seat will now switch to a democratic seat.

Assembly District 63

Anthony Rendon (D) – 46.8%

Maria Estrada (D) – 28.2%

It is important to note that Ms. Maria Estrada is a single-payer advocate and is challenging  Speaker Rendon. It will be interesting to see if the Nurses Union steps in to fund this race in November.

Assembly District 26

Devon Mathis (R) – 30.2%

Jose Sigala (D) – 29.6%

In this republican seat, Mr. Sigala is trailing Assemblymember Mathis only by 200 votes. There is also another republican in this race, Warren Gubler, who is trailing Assemblymember Mathis by 500 votes.

Ballot Measures

Proposition 68 – Issues $4 billion in bonds for parks, environmental protection, and water infrastructure

Yes – 56%

No – 44%

Proposition 69 – Requires certain tax and fee revenue related to transportation be used for transportation purposes

Yes – 80%

No – 20%

Proposition 70 – Requires a one-time two-thirds vote to use revenue from the cap-and-trade program

Yes – 63.6%

No – 36.4%

Proposition 71 – Changes the date for when voter-approved ballot measures take effect

Yes – 77%

No – 23 %

Proposition 72 – Excludes rainwater capture systems from property tax assessments

Yes – 83%

No – 17%

Questions? Please contact Oliver Rocroi, CLSA’s Senior Director, State Government Relations (