SACRAMENTO (CBS SF/AP) — California Democrats were hoping to expand their supermajorities in the state Legislature as votes were tallied Tuesday, but the Republican incumbents in the 80-member Assembly and 40-member Senate in danger of defeat were concentrated in Southern California.
With California’s top-two balloting, voters in some cases set up contests within the same political party by advancing the two highest vote-getters from the March primary election.
San Francisco State Sen. Scott Wiener, who represents Senate District 11, is widely viewed as one of the Legislature’s most liberal members. Despite an only-in-San Francisco challenge from his left, he held 59% of the vote over fellow Democrat, Indigenous activist and San Francisco State University lecturer Jackie Fielder. Both are LGBTQ activists.
Another Democrat-on-Democrat contest was playing out in Santa Clara County’s Senate District 15 for the open seat being vacated by termed-out Democratic Sen. Jim Beall of San Jose.
Organized labor is generally backing Santa Clara County Supervisor Dave Cortese, who had 54 percent of the vote tally over business-backed Ann Ravel. Ravel once was chairwoman of California’s Fair Political Practices Commission and was appointed by then-President Barack Obama to the Federal Elections Commission. More than $5.5 million in independent spending has poured into the race — the most in any legislative contest.
In the East Bay, incumbent Democratic State Sen. Steve Glazer of Orinda got just over 69 percent of the vote to beat GOP hopeful Julie Mobley, while Berkeley Democrat Nancy Skinner dominated her race against Libertarian candidate Jamie Dluzak, taking nearly 90 percent of the vote.
Meanwhile, incumbent Democratic State Sen. Bill Dodd of Napa also won his North Bay seat, taking over 70 percent of the vote to defeat his GOP rival Carlos Santamaria.
Incumbent San Francisco Democrat Phil Ting, the who represents the 19th State Assembly District including parts of San Francisco and San Mateo County, handily kept his office from GOP opponent John McDonnell, taking over 78 percent of the vote.
Ting’s Eastern San Francisco counterpart Democrat David Chiu also held on to his 17 State Assembly District seat by a wide margin with nearly 90 percent of the vote.
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