Capitol Alert

AM Alert: Close legislative races, and supermajorities, still up in the air

Assemblywoman Ling Ling Chang leaves the chambers at the end of session on Thursday, Feb. 19, 2015. Her 2016 Senate race is one of a few undecided contests that will shape the next Legislature.
Assemblywoman Ling Ling Chang leaves the chambers at the end of session on Thursday, Feb. 19, 2015. Her 2016 Senate race is one of a few undecided contests that will shape the next Legislature.

Among the newly elected Assembly Democrats streaming into the Stanford Mansion for a caucus meeting on Thursday were some who, technically, have not yet won a spot in that caucus.

“We’re still counting,” said former Assemblywoman Sharon Quirk-Silva, who is poised to reclaim her seat from Assemblywoman Young Kim, R-Fullerton. “I have my bags packed just in case things don’t go our way, though we’re pretty optimistic.”

Up by about a point and a half as of the last count, Quirk-Silva is one of a few legislative hopefuls still awaiting a final result. Also spotted on Thursday were San Jose Councilman Ash Kalra, a labor-backed Democrat who holds a four-and-a-half point lead over charter school choice Democrat Madison Nguyen, and Sabrina Cervantes, who has a similar edge over Assemblyman Eric Linder, R-Corona. Neither race has yet been called. Nor a 40th Assembly District race where Assemblyman Marc Steinorth, R-Rancho Cucamonga, leads Democrat Abigail Medina.

If Cervantes or Quirk-Silva holds on, or if Medina pulls ahead, that would bequeath Assembly Democrats a two-thirds supermajority allowing them to do things like pass taxes if they vote as a unified caucus (no sure thing, particularly given the influence of business-aligned moderates). Over in the Senate, the only race not to be called is a 29th Senate District clash between Assemblywoman Ling Ling Chang, R-Diamond Bar, and Democrat Josh Newman. If Newman wins, Senate Democrats get to two-thirds.

Although folks in the Chang and Newman camps don’t expect an imminent resolution, we’ll get more clarity on these races as county election officials churn through outstanding ballots. Expected updates out of Orange County, which comprises parts or all of the districts both Quirk-Silva and Chang want to represent, should help. Stick with us as we await more certainty.

BY THE NUMBERS: Here are the latest numbers by share of vote, as of Thursday evening, in yet-to-be-called contests:

Assembly District 27 (San Jose): Ash Kalra (D) 52.4 percent, Madison Nguyen (D) 47.6 percent

Assembly District 40 (Rancho Cucamonga): Assemblyman Marc Steinorth (R) 52.3 percent, Abigail Medina (D) 47.7 percent

Assembly District 60 (Corona): Sabrina Cervantes (D) 52.2 percent, Assemblyman Eric Linder (R) 47.8 percent

Assembly District 65 (Fullerton) : Sharon Quirk-Silva (D) 50.8 percent, Assemblywoman Young Kim (R) 49.2 percent

Senate District 29 (Diamond Bar): Assemblywoman Ling Ling Chang (R) 50.9 percent, Josh Newman (D) 49.1 percent

Congressional District 7 (Sacramento suburbs): Rep. Ami Bera, (D) 50.6 percent, Scott Jones (R) 49.4 percent

Congressional District 49 (North San Diego County): Rep. Darrell Issa (R) 51.1 percent, Doug Applegate (D) 48.9 percent

Proposition 53, to restrict revenue bonds: No 51.4 percent, Yes 48.6 percent

Proposition 66, to speed up executions: Yes 50.9 percent, No 49.1 percent

WORTH REPEATING: “As Californians, we will also stay true to our basic principles. We will protect the precious rights of our people and continue to confront the existential threat of our time – devastating climate change.”

– Gov. Jerry Brown reacting to the victory of president-elect Donald Trump.

CELEBRATIONS: Happy birthday to U.S. Sen Barbara Boxer, whose 76th is the last she’ll celebrate while in this office, and to state Sen. Fran Pavley, D-Agoura Hills, who got the early 68th birthday present of seeing her former aide win her seat. On Sunday, Sen. Andy Vidak, R-Hanford, marks his 51st.

Jeremy B. White: 916-326-5543, @CapitolAlert