2018 General Election State & Local Election Recap

Nov. 13, 2018
By Manny Heer

As election results continue trickling in, CLSA’s state government relations team is pleased to share a brief update on some anticipated changes in the makeup of our California Legislature, state government and offer additional details on several key California races you may be interested in. Please note that the Secretary of State has until Dec. 7, 2018 to certify the results. Therefore, in some seats, the ballots are still being counted and the percentages may not be accurate.

The following briefly summarizes the results and broad implications of this month’s election results. Please note that in some seats, the ballots are still being counted; therefore, the percentages may not be accurate until the Secretary of State formally certifies the results. This could take up to 30 days. As reported by the Sacramento Bee, over $1 billion was spent in this election. Spending on ballot measures alone topped $366 million.

In sum, there were no significant surprises. Democrats took control of the U.S. House, and further solidified their grip on state government, electing several progressive Democrats in key statewide races, including the Governorship. They also increased their commanding majority in our state’s congressional delegation. As a result, the state – at the federal, state and even local levels – appears poised to move leftward on policy issues.

Governor-elect Gavin Newsom cruised to election night victory beating Republican challenger John Cox by nearly 20 percentage point margin (60.7%/39.2%). The Insurance Commissioner race, State Senator Ricardo Lara defeated Independent Steve Poizner by a slim margin of 51.6% to 48.4%. In the race for Lieutenant Governor, real estate developer and former Ambassador Eleni Kounalakis handily defeated fellow Democrat, State Senator Ed Hernandez. This was Kounalakis’s first run for elective office.

Looking at California Legislative races, in the Senate, the race between Democrat Assemblywoman Anna Carbellero defeated Republican Rob Poythress by a margin of 53.3% to 46.7%. This seat was held by Republican Anthony Cannella.

In a major upset, incumbent Republican Andy Vidak has been defeated by his Democrat opponent Melissa Hurtado by a margin of 54.5% to 45.5%. Democrats picked up 2 seats in the State Senate. Moderate democrat Susan Rubio, sister of Assembly member Blanca Rubio, defeated her opponent Mike Eng by about 6,000 votes. In the State Assembly, Incumbent Democrat Rudy Salas has defeated Republican challenger Justin Mendes by over 10 percentage points. In Southern California, incumbent Republican Dante Acosta was narrowly defeated by Christy Smith by less than 2,000 votes. In another close race, incumbent Democrat Sabrina Cervantes is narrowly defeated Republican challenger Bill Essayli by less than 1,000 votes.  Incumbent Republican Mathew Harper was defeated by Cottie Petrie-Norris by a margin of 52% to 48%. Although it may take several days (or weeks) for county registrars to process and tally all remaining ballots, most contests have been decided.

  • Prop 3 – Water Bond for infrastructure projects – Defeated
  • Prop 4 – Children’s hospital construction bond – Passed (61.6% to 38.4%)
  • Prop 6 – Repeal the gas tax – Defeated
  • Prop 8 – Dialysis Center Regulation – Failing (60.7% to 39.3%)
  • Prop 10 – Rent control – Failing (60.7% to 39.3%)

San Francisco Measure C – gross receipts tax – Passing (61.07% to 39.93%)

City of South San Francisco council (Top 3 out of 6)

  • Mark Addiego – 22.1% (5,815 votes)
  • Mark Nagales – 18.4 % (3,026)
  • Flor Nicolas – 18.4% (4,817 votes, edging out incumbent Pradeep Gupta)

Measure W – San Mateo County Transit District – Passing (65.8% Yes to 34.2% No) (2/3 approval required)

As the trade association representing the life sciences sector in California, CLSA looks forward to working with Governor-elect Gavin Newsom, his Administration, bipartisan members of the legislature in Sacramento, the Trump Administration, and bipartisan members of our congressional delegation to identify and advance thoughtful, responsible policies that will ensure California continues to foster biomedical research, economic investment and job creation.

Click here for more analysis on key races from the CLSA PAC. If you have any questions or would like more background on any of the races, please contact Oliver Rocroi, CLSA’s Senior Director, State Government Relations (