The California governor's race was over relatively quickly Tuesday evening – Democratic Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom will face Republican businessman John Cox in November – but many other closely-watched primaries dragged late into the night. With thousands of provisional and mail ballots outstanding, some still have yet to be called. What happened while you were sleeping?
Sen. Dianne Feinstein cruised in her bid for a sixth term, winning 44 percent of the vote. But her general election opponent has yet to be decided. While James Bradley, a largely unknown Republican, was well-positioned early on, Democratic state Sen. Kevin de León now leads him for second place, 11 percent to 9 percent.
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After many millions spent fighting for a statewide office with few real duties, it looks like a Democratic showdown awaits between real estate developer Eleni Kounalakis and Sen. Ed Hernández, who hold nearly 24 percent and 21 percent of the vote, respectively. Republican Cole Harris is hanging outside the top two, with 18 percent.
Criticisms by Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones, a fellow Democrat, that he was politicizing the office did not hurt incumbent Xavier Becerra, who received 45 percent of the vote. He will face Republican retired Judge Steven Bailey in November. Jones finished fourth.
Steve Poizner, who won this office as a Republican in 2006, will try to become the first independent elected statewide in California. He and Democrat Sen. Ricardo Lara advanced to a runoff, each receiving about 41 percent of the vote.
Superintendent of public instruction
As the only nonpartisan statewide office in California, this position overseeing state education policy could have been decided last night. But neither Assemblyman Tony Thurmond, who is backed by teachers' unions, nor Marshall Tuck, a former charter schools executive supported by groups that want to overhaul the public school system, received anything near a majority. They will face off in November.
Voters weighed in on five initiatives and four of them passed overwhelmingly, including Proposition 68 (56 percent), a $4 billion parks and water bond, and Proposition 69 (80 percent), requiring that revenues from a recent gas tax increase be used for transportation projects. But Proposition 70 suffered overwhelming defeat, with 64 percent voting no. The measure, requiring a supermajority vote by the Legislature to spend money from the state's cap-and-trade system, was a political compromise negotiated last year to convince a handful of Republican lawmakers to support an extension of the program. But it was detested by many liberals, who did not like that it would have given moderate Democrats and Republicans more control over California's signature climate change program, and by many conservatives, who do not like the cap-and-trade system, period.
National Democrats are targeting seven Republican-held House seats in California, all of which Hillary Clinton carried in the 2016 presidential election, in their bid to regain control of Congress. But because of the state's unique primary system, in which the top two candidates advance regardless of party, they worried that a glut of Democratic contenders might split the vote and allow all-Republican runoffs in some of the districts. It now appears that there will be no Democratic shutouts in November.
10th Congressional District: Rep. Jeff Denham is through in this Modesto-area district with 38 percent of the vote. Josh Harder leads a crowded field of Democrats with nearly 16 percent, but another Republican, Ted Howze, sits in third with more than 14 percent.
21st Congressional District: As the only challenger, Democrat TJ Cox will face Rep. David Valadao again in November for this Fresno suburbs-based seat. But Valadao won 64 percent of the primary vote.
25th Congressional District: Rep. Steve Knight leads the field in this Los Angeles County district with 53 percent of the vote. Democrats Katie Hill (20 percent) and Bryan Caforio (18 percent) are still battling for the second spot.
39th Congressional District: Republican Young Kim (22 percent) has clinched a slot in the general election for this Orange County seat being vacated by Rep. Ed Royce. Democrat Gil Cisneros (19 percent) holds a comfortable margin for second place.
45th Congressional District: Rep. Mimi Walters is in with 53 percent of the vote in this Orange County district. Democrat Katie Porter (20 percent) appears to have edged the California Democratic Party-endorsed Dave Min (17 percent).
48th Congressional District: Facing a serious challenge from fellow Republican Scott Baugh, Rep. Dana Rohrabacher sunk to 30 percent of the vote, but advanced to November to defend his Orange County seat. Democrats Harley Rouda and Hans Kierstead are in a dead heat at 17 percent each.
49th Congressional District: This is a wide-open race to replace Rep. Darrell Issa in a district covering parts of Orange and San Diego counties. Diane Harkey led eight Republicans with nearly 26 percent of the vote. She will likely face either Mike Levin (17 percent) or Sara Jacobs (almost 16 percent), both Democrats.
Locally, the 4th Congressional District in the foothills remains red territory. But with 20 percent of the vote, Jessica Morse emerged from a highly-energized (and contentious) Democratic field to challenge Republican Rep. Tom McClintock (52 percent) in November.
And in news of the weird, former male model Antonio Sabato Jr. is the likely Republican challenger to Democratic Rep. Julia Brownley in Ventura County's 26th Congressional District.
In a recall election led by the California Republican Party, and predicated on his support for an unpopular gas tax increase last year, voters in Orange and Los Angeles counties tossed Democratic state Sen. Josh Newman by a margin of nearly 60 percent to 40 percent. He will be replaced by Republican Ling Ling Chang, whom Newman narrowly upset in 2016 to win the traditionally GOP seat. The successful recall eliminates Democrats' two-thirds supermajority in the California Senate.
Over in the 32nd Senate District, Tony Mendoza seems unlikely to win back the seat he resigned earlier this year after an investigation found he made unwanted sexual advances toward several employees. Republican Rita Topalian (25 percent) won a special primary, while Vanessa Delgado (16 percent) leads the crowded field of Democrats in the Democratic-leaning Los Angeles district, with Mendoza (14 percent) in third. The special election will happen in August, giving the victor just a few weeks in Sacramento at the end of the legislative session. Meanwhile, for the general election in November, Topalian (25 percent) may instead face Bob Archuleta, who was running fourth in the special primary but second in a concurrent regular primary, with 18 percent. Delgado and Mendoza trail with 16 percent and 10 percent, respectively.
A no-holds-barred crusade by the State Building & Construction Trades Council of California against Assemblywoman Cristina Garcia has come up short. The Bell Gardens Democrat, who was cleared in an Assembly investigation last month of allegations that she drunkenly groped a legislative staff member, won the 58th Assembly District primary and will face Republican Mike Simpfenderfer in a runoff for the heavily-Democratic seat.
Assemblyman Devon Mathis is struggling in the 26th Assembly District. The Visalia Republican, who was criticized for supporting the cap-and-trade extension and hit with unconfirmed sexual assault accusations last fall, is leading Republican challenger Warren Gubler by just 500 votes at the moment. Democrat Jose Sigala sits between them.
Democratic Assembly members Rudy Salas of Bakersfield and Sabrina Cervantes of Riverside are looking shaky in their re-election prospects. Both trail Republican challengers in primary results (Justin Mendes and Bill Essayli, respectively), though with no other candidates in the race, they will get a rematch in November. It was expected for Cervantes, who won an upset race in 2016 and was vulnerable for her vote to increase the gas tax, but not for Salas, who is running for his fourth term.
And in perhaps the strangest turn of events, Republican Assemblyman Rocky Chávez may have inadvertently turned over his San Diego County seat to Democrats when he decided to run for Congress this year instead. Though long held by Republicans, the 76th Assembly District primary is currently led by Democrats Elizabeth Warren (26 percent) and Tasha Horvath (25 percent). Republican Phil Graham sits in third with 21 percent.