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Previously on Darth Jeff's Guide to the California Assembly Races...

For those just joining, welcome!  This is a guide to the 2012 elections in California's 41st-80th (out of 80) Assembly seats.  For the first forty, as well as a big picture look at these races and the new top-two election system California has adopted, please read the first part (titled, "I Left My Assembly Seat in San Francisco") at the above link!  To give a quick summery, Democrats want a 2/3 majority in the Assembly to have the ability to raise taxes, stating that the state desperately needs the revenue; Republicans are committed to preventing a 2/3 majority.  The primary will be on June 5th and early voting has already begun; the top-two vote getters, regardless of parry, will compete in the November general election.

As before, I'll be rating each race on a five ★ scale, from one ★ star signifying a very boring race to ★★★★★ featuring an intense fight to the finish with no clear favorite.  At the very end of this diary I'll look at how close or far Democrats are to securing the 2/3 majority they covet.  

And to add something I should have mentioned in part 1, all President/ Governor/ Senate numbers, as well as what % of the district each incumbent currently represents, are from Meridian Pacific Inc's site:

Let's jump right in, starting with California's 41st Assembly seat below the fold!  

California's 41st Assembly Seat: OPEN, Pasadena, Claremont, Upland.
President: Obama 60%, McCain 37%
Governor: Brown 53%, Whitman 40%
Senate: Boxer 51%, Fiorina 42%

Until the last minute entry of a wealthy newcomer, Pasadena city councilmember and former mayor Chris Holden looked he had an easy path to the Assembly over South Pasadena mayor and California Deputy Attorney General Michael Cacciotti in this Democratic district.  Holden has the endorsements of several local members of Congress and legislators, Attorney General Kamala Harris, the California Democratic Party, the California Federation of Teachers, many labor groups, the state realtor and retailers associations, and many elected officials.  Cacciotti has fewer endorsements, with State Controller John Chiang, the local teamsters union, actor Ed Begley Jr., and some local electeds in his corner.  Despite being a victim of former state party treasurer Kinde Durkee's fundraising scam, Holden boosted a March cash-on-hand advantage over Cacciotti of $97,000 to $46,000.  

However, the entry of Victoria Rusnak has made this race far more competitive.  Rusnak, a Democrat like Holden and Cacciotti, is the President and general consul at her family's local car dealership chain and a former attorney for the Sierra Club.  Through a combination of personal loans and donations from people in the auto industry and family members and employees, Rusnak boosts a very large warchest, with $232,000 on hand in March.  So far big organizations and electeds don't seem to be endorsing her, but her cash and name recognition from her dealerships (helpfully named Rusnak Auto Group) makes her competitive.  

Two Republicans are in the race, increasing the odds that the GOP vote will be split enough to allow two Democrats to advance to the general election.  Rusnak is playing up her business experience, while Holden and Cacciotti are using their long-time service in local government to argue that they will be able to be effective in Sacramento.  Holden and Cacciotti have also been emphasizing public transportation, specifically the local Gold Line.  Currently, Holden and Rusnak appear to be the frontrunners, with Cacciotti an underdog but not out of the running.  

California's 42nd Assembly District: Brian Nestande (Republican, represents 12% of district), Yucaipa, Hemet, Palm Springs.  
President: Obama 45%, McCain 52%
Governor: Brown 39%, Whitman 52%
Senate: Boxer 37%, Fiorina 55%

California's 43rd Assembly District: Mike Gatto (Democrat, represents 74% of district), Burbank, Glendale.  
President: Obama 67%, McCain 29%
Governor: Brown 59%, Whitman 33%
Senate: Boxer 59%, Fiorina 33%

California's 44th Assembly District: Jeff Gorell (Republican, represents 53% of district), Oxnard, Camarillo, Thousand Oaks.
President: Obama 55%, McCain 43%
Governor: Brown 44%, Whitman 49%
Senate: Boxer 44%, Fiorina 49%

Despite the swingy nature of this district, Democrats have only an outside chance at unseating Jeff Gorell.  Gorell, who served a year-long deployment in Afghanistan shortly after he was first elected in 2010, looks to be blessed with two Democratic opponents who have raised barely any money.  Navy Veteran Tom Mullens looks to have more potential than self-employed businesswoman Eileen MacEnery.  Mullens' military background may counter Gorell's, and Mullens has also criticized Gorell for leaving the district without representation when the Assemblymember was serving in Afghanistan: this charge may resonate coming from a fellow veteran.  

However, Mullens poor fundraising is likely to prevent him from making this race close.  Mullens did get close to winning a seat on the Ventura County Board of Education with very little money in 2010, which shows both that he may have some good political skills and that his fundraising problems are nothing new.  If Democrats pour some money into this district and Mullens can up his fundraising this has the potential to be competitive, but for now Gorell looks like the heavy favorite.  Should Gorell win reelection without much trouble expect state Republicans to throw his name around as a rising star: as a veteran in a swing district, he'll likely get a great deal of attention from Republicans looking to rebuild their bench in the Golden State.  

California's 45th Assembly District: Bob Blumenfield (Democrat, represents 66% of district), Calabasas, central San Fernando Valley.
President: Obama 64%, McCain 33%
Governor: Brown 55%, Whitman 39%
Senate: Boxer 55%, Fiorina 38%

California's 46th Assembly District: OPEN, Van Nuys, Sherman Oaks, Studio City, Universal City.
President: Obama 73%, McCain 23%
Governor: Brown 66%, Whitman 27%
Senate: Boxer 66%, Fiorina 26%

Four credible, but little known, Democrats are running to take this district.  Brian Johnson, a former Teach for America executive and head a local group of charter schools, has the largest amount of cash-on-hand, with $218,000 in March.  Johnson has the endorsements of the Valley Industry and Commerce Association, a few local electeds as well as some former office holders; his endorsement from former GOP Los Angeles mayor Richard Riordan could give him a good way to appeal to the district's small GOP population.  Johnson's endorsement from a group called Democrats for Education Reform has generated some controversy, with the Los Angeles County Democratic Party demanding the group remove the word "Democratic" from their name, claiming they do not speak for the Democratic Party and threatening legal action.  Johnson's camp so far looks like they are standing their ground and supporting Democrats for Education Reform.  This probably wouldn't matter much in the grand scheme of things except that Johnson's Democratic bona fides are already being attacked, with one of his foes sending out a mailer comparing him to George W. Bush.  

Adrin Nazarian, the opponent who sent the mailer, has the next most cash at $192,000 on hand.  Nazarian is the chief of staff to Los Angeles Councilmember Paul Krekorian, who interestingly also won his seat after sending out a mailer comparing his opponent to Bush.  Nazarian is emphasizing his government experience in this race, and he has some useful endorsements: he has the support of his boss Krekorian, local state Senator Carol Liu, and a number of unions including the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor.  Nazarian has been accused by Johnson of violating campaign finance laws by under reporting his numbers, and has been criticized for receiving money from lobbyists.  In response, Nazarian supporters have criticized Johnson's campaign firm for being registered as a lobbyist.  

The only woman in the race, businesswoman and 2008 Assembly candidate Laurette Healey, has the next most cash at $127,000.  Healey has emphasized her business experience to make the case she is the best for job creation.  She has some good endorsements from the Women's Political Committee, law enforcement groups, Equality California, the California Association of Realtors, several Assemblymembers from around the state, Los Angeles County Sherriff Lee Baca, and some local electeds.  Healey has not had a smooth campaign either: several of her campaign advisers recently left, an anonymous Twitter account has sprung up attacking her, and she angered the Sherman Oaks Neighborhood Council by claiming to be a member despite not being involved since 2004.  

The fourth credible candidate, Woodbury University professor and former Paramount attorney Andrew Lachman, has been spared much of the mudslinging in this race.  However, Lachman also has by far the least amount of money available, with $36,000 on hand.  Lachman does have the support of Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones, a few Southern California state Senators, various members of the state party, some Democratic clubs, several unions, and Ed Begley, Jr. (that guy seems to enjoy endorsing in Assembly races).  Lachman, the only Jewish candidate in a district with a large Jewish population, is hoping that the Howard Berman- Brad Sherman Congressional contest in the area will boost Jewish turnout and help him.  

An underfunded pro-life Democrat also is in the race, bringing the number of Democratic candidates in this contest to five, versus one Republican.  While this is a very Democratic district, the five Democrats could split the vote enough to give Republican teacher Jay Stern a chance to lose in November.  Right now, Johnson, Nazarian, and Healey all look like they have a good chance to secure one of the top two spots, though Healey's campaign problems could cost her.  Lachman may have a shot as well, but he'll probably need more money in order to make it to November much less win.                  

California's 47th Assembly District: OPEN, Fontana, Rialto, Colton.
President: Obama 67%, McCain 29%
Governor: Brown 62%, McCain 28%
Senate: Boxer 60%, Fiorina 30%

Joe Baca Jr., a former one-term Assemblymember, Rialto city councilmember, and the son of Congressman Joe Baca, looks like the favorite to return to Sacramento.  Baca, who vacated his seat to unsuccessfully run for the Senate in 2006 (losing the Democratic primary to Gloria Negrete McLeod, who is now trying to unseat Congressman Baca), has $113,000 on hand.  He also has the support of many legislators, labor organizations, law enforcement and firefighter groups, and local electeds.  

Baca's only credible opponent is fellow Democrat Cheryl Brown, the publisher of the local Black Voice News paper and a legislative staffer.  Brown has less cash than Baca but still carries a respectable $73,000 on hand.  Brown has some legislative endorsements and support from local electeds, including the mayor of Fontana, the California League of Conservation Voters, and the local The Press Enterprise newspaper.  

Brown is too formidable to count out, but Baca looks like the favorite.  With more influential endorsements, more money, more name recognition, and better demographics (the voting age population of the district is 52% Hispanic to 15% African American), he should emerge victorious.  There are two Republicans in this race so the small GOP vote should be split enough to send both Baca and Brown to the general election.  

California's 48th Assembly District: Roger Hernandez (Democrat, represents 80% of district), Glendora, Baldwin Park, West Covina, El Monte.
President: Obama 61%, McCain 35%
Governor: Brown 56%, Whitman 35%
Senate: Boxer 53%, Fiorina 37%

California's 49th Assembly District: OPEN, Arcadia, Alhambra, Monterey Park.
President: Obama 60%, McCain 36%
Governor: Brown 55%, Whitman 37%
Senate: Boxer 54%, Fiorina 37%

This is a very Democratic district with a good Democratic frontrunner, but a formidable Republican recruit may put it into play.  School board member Ed Chau is the Democratic favorite in the race.  He has a strong war chest with $283,000 on hand, and the endorsements of local members of Congress Judy Chu, Grace Napolitano, and Lucille Roybal-Allard, three statewide electeds, several legislators, the California Democratic Party, labor groups, and local electeds.  His only Democratic challenger is Monterey Park councilmember Mitchell Ing, who reported no fundraising as of March.  In September, Ing accused Chau of living outside the district, but this seems to have gone nowhere.  Chau should easily make it to the general election.

However, the GOP has found a credible opponent for Chau.  Matthew Lin, a former mayor of San Marino, orthopedic surgeon, and vice-chairman of a local healthcare provider, has a strong $244,000 cash on hand.  Lin also has the endorsements of several local electeds including Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca.  The state GOP seems excited about him; he was one of only two candidates to be included on the California Trailblazers list, a program by House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy and state GOP legislative leaders designed to recruit and train legislative candidates.  Given the district's strong Democratic lean and Chau's own strengths as a candidate, Lin is the clear underdog but for now he cannot be counted out.      

California's 50th Assembly District: Betsy Butler (Democrat, represents 2% of district), Beverly Hills, Santa Monica, West Hollywood.
President: Obama 74%, McCain 23%
Governor: Brown 66%, Whitman 29%
Senate: Boxer 67%, Fiorina 28%

Democratic incumbent Betsy Butler is running in a district almost completely new to her, with two strong Democratic challengers running here.  Butler still has some of the advantages of incumbency; she has the strongest warchest ($464,000 on hand), and a very long list of endorsements.  In the Butler camp are Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom, the Democratic legislative leaders, many endorsements from her colleagues in both houses of the legislature, the California Democratic Party, Equality California, California League of Conservation Voters, the Sierra Club, many unions, law enforcement groups, many local electeds, and the actor who played the villainous Henry Starling in a two part episode of Star Trek: Voyager (in other words, Ed Beagly Jr.).  

Torie Osborn, a non-profit executive and community organizer, has nearly managed to match Butler in cash on hand, with $429,000 in March.  On Osborn's side are Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, several labor groups, the California Federation of Teachers, the state Nurses Association, the California National Association of Women and other women's groups, several local Democratic clubs, and other local electeds.  (And interestingly, retiring Massachusetts Congressman Barney Frank).  Osborn's campaign has been using Facebook as an experimental way to have volunteers find and contact voters in the district; it's an interesting approach, and one other campaigns may try if Osborn makes it work.  

The third prominent Democrat in the race is Santa Monica Mayor Richard Bloom.  Bloom has $134,000 on hand as of March; in most other seats this would be a pretty good amount, but he's far behind Butler and Osborn.  Bloom has some local endorsements, but doesn't have the big name backing or organizational support Butler and Osborn have.  However, if Butler and Osborn train their sights on each other, he could slip through.  

One Republican is running here; if the Democratic vote is split enough he can reach the general, though the district is Democratic enough that this may not happen.  While Bloom looks too high profile to completely count out, the race looks like a very close fight between Butler and Osborn.  Osborn's fundraising and endorsements have been able to cancel out many of the advantages Butler enjoys as an incumbent, but Butler is still strong enough that she can win.  If Butler and Osborn make it to the general, this should be an intense race worth watching all the way to November.  

California's 51st Assembly District: OPEN, Northeast LA, north central LA, East LA.
President: Obama 79%, McCain 17%
Governor: Brown 77%, Whitman 15%
Senate: Boxer 77%, Fiorina 15%

Three credible Democrats are running in this open seat, with one frontrunner who stands out from the rest of the pack.  The candidate with by far the most money is Jimmy Gomez, who has a strong $284,000 on hand.  Gomez is a teacher at Los Angeles Trade Technical College, and political director for a local nurses union.  He has some very good endorsements from the California Democratic Party, many unions including the Los Angeles County AFL-CIO, major teachers' groups, United Nurses Associations of California, the California League of Conservation Voters, and a host of endorsements from local members of Congress, legislators, and other local electeds.  Given his many advantages here, Gomez should be considered the favorite here.

Luis Lopez, the president of the East Area planning commission and the director of a big healthcare non-profit, looks like he will be able to compete for this race.  He has $103,000 on hand, and some good endorsements: in his corner are some legislators, Equality California and the Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund (Lopez is openly gay), the California National Organization for Women, a few union nods, and some Democratic clubs as well as some local electeds.  Lopez should have enough support to be Gomez's main rival for this seat.

Arturo Chavez, the district director for termed-out incumbent Gil Cedillo, has a smaller but still credible $56,000 on hand.  Chavez, who was arrested at a November Occupy Protest, has the endorsement of his boss and a few other legislators and local electeds, several SEIU branches including SEIU California, and the United Teachers Los Angeles.  If the SEIU comes out for him he may be able to edge out Lopez for a top-two slot.

Two other Democrats are in the race, but neither has reported any money as of March.  There have been a few local policy disagreements, with city-hood for East Los Angeles emerging as one of the bigger ones.  All the candidates support it, but Lopez is in less of a hurry for it than Gomez and Chavez.   No one else is running, so the general will be between two Democrats, most likely Gomez against either Lopez or Chavez.  

California's 52nd Assembly District: Norma Torres (Democrat, represents 99.97% of district), Pomona, Ontario, Chino.  
President: Obama 62%, McCain 34%
Governor: Brown 55%, Whitman 35%
Senate: Boxer 54%, Fiorina 37%

California's 53rd Assembly District: John Perez (Democrat, represents 63% of district), Huntington Park, Downtown Los Angeles.
President: Obama 78%, McCain 18%
Governor: Brown 77%, Whitman 15%
Senate: Boxer 76%, Fiorina 14%

California's 54th Assembly District: Holly Mitchell (Democrat, represents 86% of district), Culver City, Westwood.
President: Obama 84%, McCain 14%
Governor: Brown 78%, Whitman 16%
Senate: Boxer 78%, Fiorina 78%

California's 55th Assembly District: Curt Hagman (Republican, represents 60% of district), Diamond Bar, Chino Hills, La Habra, Yorba Linda.
President: Obama 46%, McCain 50%
Governor: Brown 37%, Whitman 55%
Senate: Boxer 36%, Fiorina 57%

California's 56th Assembly District: Manuel Perez (Democrat, represents 84% of district), Cathedral City, Indio, El Centro.
President: Obama 59%, McCain 38%
Governor: Brown 54%, Whitman 39%
Senate: Boxer 52%, Fiorina 40%

California's 57th Assembly District: OPEN, Hacienda Heights, Whittier, Norwalk.
President: Obama 60%, McCain 36%
Governor: Brown 56%, Whitman 36%
Senate: Boxer 54%, Fiorina 37%

This race pits a powerful political family against an old opponent.  Ian Calderon is the heir to the Calderon political dynasty: he is the 26 year-old son of termed-out Democratic incumbent and Assembly Majority Leader Charles Calderon, and a relative of a lot of other politicians (since 1983 at least one member of the family has served in the legislature).  While Ian Calderon has served as a legislative aide, he is for the most part a political newcomer.  However, he has benefited greatly from his family's political connections, with him boosting a $139,000 war chest from contributions from labor, insurance, and pharmaceutical interests.  Calderon has the support of many Assemblymembers, local politicians, the California Medical Association, the California Young Democrats, and several unions.  However, the campaign has not gone without a hitch for Calderon.  He has awkwardly admitted he doesn't know what single-payer healthcare is, has appeared rather inexperienced and stiff as a candidate, and been accused of doing political work on tax-payer time.  

The other major candidate in this race is former Democratic Assemblymember Rudy Bermudez.  Bermudez vacated his seat in 2006 in order to run for the Senate, and narrowly lost the primary to Ronald Calderon.  Bermudez has $100,000 on hand, less than Calderon but enough to run a real race.  Bermudez has some good endorsements: he is backed by the California Democratic Party, Congresswomen Grace Napolitano and Linda Sanchez, many local electeds (including several mayors), some Democratic clubs, many unions, the state League of Conservation Voters, and the California Teachers Association.  Bermudez hasn't had the easiest campaign either; there is an inquiry by Los Angeles County District Attorney Steve Cooley on whether Bermudez spent years living in the Sacramento suburbs while voting in the district (an inquiry isn't an investigation).

This race has gotten very negative quickly.  Calderon is working to use his youth to his advantage, portraying himself as a political outsider and Bermudez as a longtime political insider who does not live in the district.  Bermudez is taking the opposite approach, saying Calderon hasn't done anything to deserve to be elected.  Bermudez has also stated Calderon is under investigation by the state's Fair Political Practices Commission over not reporting fundraising.  Both candidates have been criticized for paying family members for political work.  One Republican is in the race and may be able to reach the general.  At the moment, neither Calderon nor Bermudez looks like the favorite here.                  

California's 58th Assembly District: OPEN, Pico Rivera, Downey, Bellflower.
President: Obama 66%, McCain 31%
Governor: Brown 62%, Whitman 30%
Senate: Boxer 60%, Fiorina 30%

Former Assemblymember Tom Calderon, the uncle of Ian Calderon, is running for this open seat, but faces two credible Democrats.  Calderon, who served from 1998-2002 before losing a race for state Insurance Commissioner, has $97,000 on hand and have received donations from the healthcare industry.  Calderon has the support of law enforcement and firefighter groups, many legislators, unions, and local electeds.    

Downey councilman Luis Marquez's $99,000 edged out Calderon on the money front.  Marquez unsuccessfully ran for the Assembly in 2010 and has worked as a staffer to Senator Alan Lowenthal.  Marquez has the endorsements of  Congresswomen Linda Sanchez, Lucile Roybal-Allard, and Grace Napolitano, a few legislators, the SEIU and other unions, and local electeds including the mayors of many cities in the district.

Bell Gardens teacher Christina Garcia has less funds but a still respectable $77,000 on hand, and an interesting story.  Garcia was involved in the movement that led to the incitements and successful recalls against corrupt officials in the city of Bell, and has been involved in bringing attention to corruption throughout the area.  She has made ethics and public education the centerpieces of her campaign.  She doesn't seem to have much establishment support, but she could be one to watch.  

Bell Gardens councilmember Daniel Crespo is also in the race, but he has not raised any money as of March.  One other underfunded Democrat is running as is one Republican; with five Democrats splitting the vote, the Republican looks to have a good chance to reach the general.  At the moment Calderon and Marquez look like the frontrunners, with Garcia having a chance to surprise.

California's 59th Assembly District: OPEN, South Los Angeles, Florence-Graham.
President: Obama 90%, McCain 7%
Governor: Brown 86%, Whitman 6%
Senate: Boxer 86%, Fiorina 6%

Reggie Jones-Sawyer, the Director of Asset Management for the city of Los Angeles (and secretary of the California Democratic Party), is the heavy favorite to win the seat.  He has all the important endorsements from the party, unions, and influential elected officials, and a cash on hand of $74,000.  His only opponent who reported any fundraising is Greg Akili, with $10,000 on hand.  Akili has the support of former Congresswoman Diane Watson and a few other former electeds, but he looks very unlikely to beat Jones-Sawyer.

California's 60th Assembly District: OPEN, Eastvale, Corona.
President: Obama 51%, McCain 46%
Governor: Brown 43%, Whitman 48%
Senate: Boxer 41%, Fiorina 50%

This race is impressive in that none of the candidates have raised much or any money (the largest warchest is less than $7,000).  Three Republicans and one Democrat are running here.  Among the GOP, Corona business owner Eric Linder looks like the frontrunner: he has the endorsements of the state party, the Howard Jarvis Taxpayer's Association, and the state GOP Assembly.  Linder has also been in the race the least amount of time (only entering in early March), while both his GOP opponents announced last September, so his lack of fundraising is much more justifiable than the others.  Corona Mayor Stan Skipworth is not without his advantages, with the backing of local Congressman Ken Calvert, the local paper the Press-Enterprise, some legislators and local electeds.  The final Republican in the race, school district trustee Greg Kraft, has the support of law enforcement groups and some local electeds.  So far, the race has lacked much intensity, with the Republicans largely agreeing on the issues and little negative campaigning occurring.  

The only Democrat in the race is schoolboard trustee Jose Luis Perez.  Perez has reported raising no money as of March, but given that nobody else seems to be raising any green either this doesn't seem to be as big of a worry as one may expect.  Still, the fact that he doesn't seem to have a website even now is probably not a good sign.  (The closest thing seems to be this Facebook Page).  For now, it looks like Linder will have a big advantage over his GOP rivals and unless Perez can pick up the pace in this district or Linder proves to be a poor campaigner, the GOP is likely to win in November.

California's 61st Assembly District: OPEN, Riverside, Moreno Valley, Perris.
President: Obama 60%, McCain 36%
Governor: Brown 53%, Whitman 39%
Senate: Boxer 50%, Fiorina 41%

Community college trustee Jose Medina ran unsuccessfully for the Assembly in 2000 and 2010, but this looks like his lucky year.  He is the only Democrat running in a district that favors his party, and none of his opponents have reported any fundraising.  Medina should have a very easy path to victory.

California's 62nd Assembly District: Steven Bradford (Democrat, represents 76% of district), Inglewood, Hawthorne.
President: Obama 80%, McCain 17%
Governor: Brown 73%, Whitman 21%
Senate: Boxer 73%, Fiorina 20%

California's 63rd Assembly District: OPEN, South Gate, Lynwood, Lakewood.
President: Obama 72%, McCain 24%
Governor: Brown 67%, Whitman 24%
Senate: Boxer 66%, Fiorina 24%

Democratic non-profit executive director Anthony Rendon faces minimal opposition in his bid here.  

California's 64th Assembly District: Isadore Hall (Democrat, represents 50% of district), Compton, Carson.
President: Obama 85%, McCain 12%
Governor: Brown 84%, Whitman 11%
Senate: Boxer 80%, Fiorina 11%

California's 65th Assembly District: Chris Norby (Republican, represents 35% of district), Fullerton, Buena Park, Cypress.
President: Obama 50%, McCain 47%
Governor: Brown 42%, Whitman 50%
Senate: Boxer 41%, Fiorina 50%

Republican Chris Norby has attracted a credible last-minute Democratic challenger in a much more swingy district than the one he had previously represented.  Fullerton Mayor Sharon Quirk-Silva entered the race very close to the filing deadline; in the short time she had to fundraiser before campaign finance reports were due she amassed a $26,000 war chest.  Unsurprisingly Norby still has a big cash on hand lead with $103,000.  This race hasn't really taken shape yet, and it remains to be seen how tough a challenger Quirk-Silva will be.  It will be worth watching if Quirk-Silva can raise enough cash to be competitive against Norby, or whether her late entry in the race cost her valuable time.  No other candidates filed, so Norby and Quirk-Silva will meet again in the general.

California's 66th Assembly District: OPEN, Gardena, Redondo Beach, Torrance.
President: Obama 55%, McCain 42%
Governor: Brown 46%, Whitman 47%
Senate: Boxer 45%, Fiorina 47%

This swing district will be in both parties' sights from now until November.  Two Republicans who both unsuccessfully ran in this area recently are fighting for their spot in the general election.  Businessman Craig Huey, who ran a surprisingly competitive but unsuccessful campaign for the 36th Congressional District in 2011, has $73,000 on hand.  He boasts the support of Congressman Dana Rohrabacher and various legislators, and likely has a good deal of name recognition from last summer's contest.  The other Republican in the race is aerospace engineer Nathan Mintz, who was the Republican nominee for much of this Assembly seat in 2010.  Mintz has much less cash available than Huey, with only $27,000.  However, he has the endorsements of many local electeds and legislators, including several mayors in the district, and former Governor George Deukmejian and former Los Angeles Mayor Richard Riordan.  Both candidates have strong Tea Party ties.  Right now Huey's money and probably better name recognition look like they give him a better chance to reach November, though Mintz has enough support that he can't be counted out.

Waiting in the general election is Democratic school board member and deputy state Attorney General Al Muratsuchi.  Muratsuchi has the largest warchest by far, with $171,000 and the benefit of not needing to spend it against a Democratic opponent.  This race looks like it will be very hard fought but given his current financial dominance and the district's small Democratic lean (it's pretty likely that the 2008 Presidential numbers will be more predictive than the 2010 numbers in California), Muratsuchi looks like he has an advantage going in.  However, if Huey is his opponent and is able to invest more of his resources, this could get a lot closer.  

California's 67th Assembly District: OPEN, Menifee, Lake Elsinore, Murrieta.
President: Obama 41%, McCain 56%
Governor: Brown 34%, Whitman 57%
Senate: Boxer 31%, Fiorina 60%

Four credible Republicans are fighting an increasingly negative battle for this seat.  School board member Kenneth Dickson's personal loans have given him the most cash in this contest, with $85,000 on hand.  Dickson has heavily emphasized his humble beginnings and his Christianity in order to appeal to voters here.  Dickson's website does not mention any endorsements which is probably not a sign that he's getting any big nods.  So far Dickson has stayed clear of negative campaigning, with his opponents neither attacking him nor he attacking him.  

Lake Elsinore councilmembers Bob Magee and Melissa Melendez are the next best-funded candidates.  Melendez appears to lead Magee in cash on hand $71,000 to $48,000: however, several strangely large donations were made to Melendez right before campaign finance reports were due, and she may not have as much money as she appears if these were loans rather than donations.  Both candidates have plenty of local and legislative endorsements.  Magee's tend to be more moderate politicians, and he has the Press-Enterprise.  Melendez has on her side the California Republican Assembly, Family Action PAC, and public safety groups.      

Water board member and Congressman Darrell Issa's district director Phil Paule has the least amount of cash ($16,000 on hand), but he has made his impact on the race.  Paule has targeted Melendez over her vote against backing the city of Ontario's bid to take it's airport from LA, accused her of preparing to compromise with Democrats, and attacked her over taking money from unions, including law enforcement ones.  He has also tried to make an issue of Magee getting endorsements from outside the district.  Melendez has fired back at Paule, accusing him of doing campaign work on government time.  Both Paule and Melendez have attacked the others driving record, with Melendez bringing up Paule's 2003 DUI, and Paule saying Melendez had repeatedly been caught speeding.  (Melendez says that this was a different Melissa Melendez).  Paule has the endorsements of his boss Issa and several legislators including Senate GOP leader Bob Huff.        

A fifth Republican is in the race, but doesn't look like he'll have an impact at all.  It's hard to handicap this one: Dickson's money and the fact that he hasn't been attacked may carry him to the general but he doesn't look like he's getting much organizational support or big names behind him.  Melendez has the money to go far (assuming her campaign finance statement is accurate) and is the only woman in the race, though her ongoing battle with Paule could be problematic.  Magee seems to have less money but he's largely avoided being attacked for the most part, and may have enough support to secure a top-two spot.  Paule's weak fundraising so far and the amount of attacks being thrown at and by him may keep him out of the general, though he has some good endorsements and can't be counted out.  For now, it looks like Dickson, Melendez, and Magee have the best shots to secure a spot in the top-two; if Paule doesn't make it to the general, it will be worth seeing if the mudslinging in this race goes down or not.    

California's 68th Assembly District: Don Wagner (Republican, represents 41% of district), Orange, Tustin.
President: Obama 45%, McCain 52%
Governor: Brown 33%, Whitman 60%
Senate: Boxer 32%, Fiorina 61%

California's 69th Assembly District: OPEN, Anaheim, Santa Ana.
President: Obama 64%, McCain 33%
Governor: Brown 56%, Whitman 34%
Senate: Boxer 55%, Fiorina 34%

Tom Daly, the former Mayor of Anaheim, current Orange County Clerk-Recorder, and once the rising star for Orange County Democrats, is in a tough race against two formidable Democrats.  Daly has some union supporters and some local electeds on his side.  However, Daly is often distrusted by local Democrats, with many seeing him as too close to Republicans (The OC Weekly labeled him "The Joe Lieberman of Orange County Politics")  Daly's fundraising hasn't been particularly great, with only $25,000 on hand; however, he has some rich friends on his side.  The California Chamber of Commerce just spent $121,000 to boost Daly's campaign, and the normally GOP friendly Orange County Business Council endorsed him.  The only Republican in the race dropped out, though he cannot remove his name from the ballot: if enough Republicans realize this and cast their votes for the moderate Daly, it can give him a big boost.  

Anaheim labor activist Julio Perez has the most cash on hand, with $95,000.  Unsurprisingly Perez enjoys heavy union support, with the Orange County Employees Association spending on him; he also has the endorsements of a host of other labor groups including the California Federation of Labor.  Also in his corner is the California Teachers Association, the National Organization for Women, Democracy For America's local chapter, the state Young Democrats, the California League of Conservation Voters, and various local electeds.  Perez was recently hit by a story in The Orange County Register that proved to be false claiming Perez lied about his residency.  (The paper took back the story after a reporter found that Perez in fact lived where he said he did.)

Trailing not far behind Perez in money is Santa Ana councilwoman Michele Martinez.  Martinez has $92,000 on hand and the advantage of representing about 60% of the district on the city council  (according to her campaign at least).  Martinez has the support of several public safety groups including the Orange County Police and EMILY's List.  

The race took a heated turn when a volunteer canvasing in support of Perez through an allied organization was involved in an altercation with a Martinez supporter, though this doesn't seem to be generating huge headlines.  Right now Daly, Perez, and Martinez look like they have good shots at making the general, though Perez's heavy labor support and money may give him the best chance.  In a general election Daly would probably be able to count on most of the GOP vote, though local Democratic distrust of him and demographics (the district is 53% voting age Hispanic to only 15% white) may hold him back.  

California's 70th Assembly District: Bonnie Lowenthal (Democrat, represents 84% of district), Long Beach.
President: Obama 67%, McCain 30%
Governor: Brown 59%, Whitman 34%
Senate: Boxer 57%, Fiorina 34%

California's 71st Assembly District: Brian Jones (Republican, represents 79% of district), Ramona, El Cajon, La Presa.
President: Obama 40%, McCain 57%
Governor: Brown 32%, Whitman 58%
Senate: Boxer 29%, Fiorina 61%

California's 72nd Assembly District: OPEN, Westminster, Garden Grove, Fountain Valley.
President: Obama 44%, McCain 53%
Governor: Brown 37%, Whitman 55%
Senate: Boxer 38%, Fiorina 54%

Republican Los Alamitos mayor and businessman Troy Edgar looks like the early favorite, though not shoo-in, to capture this district.  Edgar dropped down to this race after running in the new 47th Congressional District and brought a good amount of money with him, with $207,000 on hand.  Edgar has the nods of local Congressman Dana Rohrabacher and Ed Royce as well as the GOP leadership in the legislature and local electeds.  Edgar was a Democrat until 2006 which may hurt him, though so far he seems to be doing fine.

Orange County Board of Education member Long Pham may be able to pose a challenge to Edgar.  Pham will likely be able to appeal to the district's large Vietnamese population, and through a loan to himself, Pham has $60,000 on hand.  Pham's website does not feature any endorsements, which is probably not a great sign.  

The third Republican in the race is businessman Travis Allen.  Allen also loaned himself most of his money, and he sits on $59,000.  Allen's site also doesn't have any endorsements on it.  

Two Democrats are in the race, which could split the vote enough in this Republican district to advance two Republicans to the general; however, one of those Democrats Joe Dovinh is the husband of a Garden Grove city councilmember, which could let him consolidate enough Democrats.  Right now Edgar looks likely to reach November and win, though racial dynamics and the possibility of a Democrat securing one of the top spots make this far from assured.  Still, Edgar's money and establishment support give him a great shot.

California's 73rd Assembly District: Diane Harkey (Republican, represents 54% of district), Mission Viejo, Laguna Niguel, San Clemente.
President: Obama 44%, McCain 53%
Governor: Brown 31%, Whitman 62%
Senate: Boxer 30%, Fiorina 63%

California's 74th Assembly District: Alan Mansoor (Republican, represents 27% of district), Costa Mesa, Irvine, Newport Beach.
President: Obama 50%, McCain 47%
Governor: Brown 37%, Whitman 56%
Senate: Boxer 37%, Fiorina 56%

Republican incumbent Alan Mansoor faces a tough Republican opponent, with a well-funded Democrat waiting in the general election.  Mansoor lost most of his district to redistricting and now faces fellow Republican and Newport Beach councilmember Leslie Daigle.  Mansoor has a small cash lead over Daigle, $115,000 to $108,000, but has some of the traditional advantages of incumbency.  In Mansoor's corner are local Congressmen Dana Rohrabacher, John Campbell, and Ed Royce, the California GOP, local legislators, local electeds, Orange County Sheriff Sandra Hutchens and the Orange County Taxpayers Association.  By contrast, Daigle has only a few local endorsements. However, there is word that rich GOPer Charles Munger, Jr will drop $360,000 against Mansoor  Needless to say, Mansoor could be in a lot of trouble if he's bombarded with this kind of money.

Daigle hasn't had the easiest campaign however.  Mansoor has attacked her for never being chosen by her city council colleagues to be mayor of Newport Beach.  A 2006 incident where Daigle threatened to have a Latino security guard deported also has not helped her.  Daigle's performance at a recent candidate forum was also not seen as a good moment for her.  Still, given her fundraising success and local base, Daigle looks to have a good shot at costing Mansoor a place in the top-two.

Despite Obama's narrow win here in 2008 this district has a large GOP lean.  However, Democrat Robert Rush jumped into the race late and loaned his campaign enough money to give him $115,000 on hand.  Rush was not a Democrat until he entered the race in February and describes himself as a Blue Dog Democrat and fiscal conservative who voted for McCain.  However, Rush supports same-sex marriage and medical marijuana and is pro-choice.  Rush, a first time candidate, received good reviews at the candidate forum.

No other candidates are running.  Either Mansoor or Daigle will be favored in November, but Rush gives Democrats a chance for an upset.  This race should be worth watching from now until the general election.

California's 75th Assembly District: OPEN, Temecula, San Marcos, Esconidido.  
President: Obama 41%, McCain 56%
Governor: Brown 31%, Whitman 60%
Senate: Boxer 29%, Fiorina 62%

Esconidido councilmember Marie Waldron was the only Republican to file in this heavily Republican district, and she should have no trouble winning here.

California's 76th Assembly District: OPEN, Oceanside, Vista, Carlsbad.
President: Obama 51%, McCain 46%
Governor: Brown 40%, Whitman 52%
Senate: Boxer 38%, Fiorina 53%

Three credible Republicans are running for the two general election spots here.  Legislative aide Sherry Hodges is the financial frontrunner, with $120,000 on hand.  However, Hodges is apparently running third in the polls (the only poll I could find was from March and showed 65% undecided).  Hodges has some good endorsements from the California Small Business Association, the North San Diego County Association of Realtors, the Republican Club of North San Diego County, and many legislators and local electeds.  Of the three GOP candidates, Hodges is the only one to oppose the idea of a part time legislature.

Businesswoman Farrah Douglas comes next in the money race with $54,000 on hand and has an interesting story to tell as a refugee of the 1979 Islamic Revolution in Iran.  Douglas' campaign chairs are termed-out incumbent Martin Garrick and the mayor of Carlsbad.  Also on her side are various business leaders, local electeds, the San Diego Building Industry Association, San Diego County Farm Bureau, National Tax Limitation Committee, and various local GOP clubs.  

Rocky Chavez brings up the rear in fundraising, with $54,000 on hand.  Chavez, a former Oceanside city councilor, veteran, and undersecretary for the state's Department of Veterans Affairs, is focusing his campaign on Hispanic voters and the military community.  Chavez has some legislative endorsements but his supporters list is shorter than the others.

Each of the candidates looks like they have a decent chance to make it to the general and to win in November, though Chavez may be held back by his lack of establishment support.  All three have stated they are ready to work with Democrats, a big contrast to the rhetoric in many GOP races this year.  No other candidates are running, so the general election will be between two of these three Republicans.

California's 77th Assembly District: OPEN, North San Diego.
President: Obama 50%, McCain 47%
Governor: Brown 39%, Whitman 55%
Senate: Boxer 38%, Fiorina 54%

Former Republican San Diego city councilmember Brian Maienschein looks like the heavy favorite to win this district.  Through personal loans and fundraising Maienschein has a big cash lead over his GOP opponent Dustin Steiner, a county supervisor staffer.  Maienschein leads Steiner $166,000 to $18,000: neither the Democrat nor the independent in this race filed any fundraising numbers.  Given that Steiner has been in the race since September, his relatively small war chest is a particularly bad sign.  Maienschein has the endorsements of Congressman Darrell Issa, San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders, and many local legislators and electeds.  Steiner has some local nods and the endorsement of Congressman Elton Gallegly (though given how far away Gallegly's district is this probably won't be that helpful).  Given Maienschein's advantages it probably doesn't make a big difference to him who his general election foe is.

California's 78th Assembly District: Toni Atkins (Democrat, represents 61% of district), coastal San Diego, Coronado, Imperial Beach.
President: Obama 66%, McCain 31%
Governor: Brown 54%, Whitman 39%
Senate: Boxer 54%, Fiorina 38%

California's 79th Assembly District: OPEN, East San Diego, La Mesa, Lemon Grove.
President: Obama 60%, McCain 38%
Governor: Brown 51%, Whitman 40%
Senate: Boxer 50%, Fiorina 32%

Three credible Democrats are running for this ethnically diverse seat.  Non-profit director Sid Voorakkara has the most cash, with $114,000 on hand.  Voorakkara has a few legislative nods and local electeds, as well as the California Nurses Association, Equality California, various labor groups, and California Asian Pacific Islander Legislative Caucus.  Chula Vista city councilor Rudy Ramirez has $72,000 on hand and endorsements from the usual assortment of local electeds and legislators as well as the California Medical Association and California Latino Legislative Caucus.  Former San Diego School Board member Shirley Weber has $68,000 available and the support of Congressman and mayoral candidate Bob Filner, local legislators Christine Kehoe and Toni Atkins, state Senate leader Darrell Steinberg, several labor groups including AFSCME, San Deigeo and Imperial Counties Labor Council, and SEIU California, and the Legislative Black Caucus.  

There is one underfunded Democrat running here and two Republicans.  One of the Republicans, Mary England, actually has some real money with $17,000 on hand.  This won't be enough to win in November but it could let her reach the general.  Hispanics make up the largest minority voting population here which could give Ramirez a boost here.  Right now it looks like the race for the Democratic top-two seat will be between Voorakkara's money, Ramirez's demographic advantages, and Weber's labor support.  Each of these candidates look like they have a shot to win, and none look like the favorite as of yet.  

California's 80th Assembly District: Ben Hueso (Democrat, represents 81% of the district), South San Diego, National City.
President: Obama 65%, McCain 31%
Governor: Brown 57%, Whitman 32%
Senate: Boxer 57%, Fiorina 32%

The Big Picture: Do Democrats have a shot at a 2/3 majority?

To see how close or far Democrats are to the 2/3 majority they want, I've re-rated each race just based on which party is favored to capture it in November.  For a detailed look at the first forty seats see here. In order to have a 2/3 majority in the 80 seat chamber, Democrats will need to hold 54 seats.  All seats not mentioned below are rated safe for their party: I rate 44 seats as safe Democratic, and 22 as safe GOP.

Democratic Races to Watch: AD-09, AD-11, AD-20, AD-21
Republican Races to Watch: AD-44, AD-60
I really doubt these seats will be in danger at all, but they're on the list just in case.  In AD-11 and AD-20, credible independents are running in heavily Democratic districts, but look very unlikely to win.      

Likely Democratic: AD-28, AD-49
Likely Republican: AD-74

Of these seats, AD-28 features a contest between a Democrat (my old boss Paul Fong) and an independent (former Republican Chad Walsh).  This is the only race I think an independent has a reasonable chance to win, though Fong should be favored.

Leans Democratic: AD-66
Leans Republican: AD-40, AD-65

Tossup: AD-08, AD-32

If both parties win every seat I have them favored in, it would mean 51 Democrats, 27 Republicans, and two tossups.  In order to get the magic 54 seats, Democrats would need to win every seat I have them favored in, both tossups, and one GOP of the two leans GOP seats (or more unlikely, win the likely Republican seat of AD-74).  Both lean GOP seats are plausible, but tough.  In AD-40, Democrat Russ Warner doesn't seem to be raising the money he needs to win; if he picks up the pace and Democrats and allies spend heavily here this could give the Democrats a big boost here.  In AD-65, Fullerton Mayor Sharon Quirk-Silva entered the race very late and it remains to be seen how good a candidate she will be.  If she can raise money and Democrats and allies spend heavily here they may be able to overcome her late start.  

For the GOP, the easiest path to stopping a Democratic 2/3 majority is to win both tossups.  AD-66 is also winnable: right now the Democrat Al Muratsuchi looks like the slight favorite due to his financial advantages and Obama's big 2008 victory here (Obama won the district 55/42).  However, the GOP can definitely come back here.

The bottom line: Democrats have an uphill but plausible path to 54 seats.  However, it will depend on almost everything going right for them, with very little room for error.  

I hope to enjoyed this look at California's Assembly elections!  A guide to the state Senate races is in the works!  If you disagree with my ratings, feel I left something out, or spot any mistakes, please let me know in the comments!  

Originally posted to Darth Jeff on Mon May 14, 2012 at 01:43 PM PDT.

Also republished by California politics.

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Comment Preferences

  •  *swoon* (4+ / 0-)

    rockin' diary!

    If you're gonna die, die with your boots on. If you're gonna try, well stick around. Gonna cry? Just move along. The truth of all predictions is always in your hands. - Iron Maiden

    by Cedwyn on Mon May 14, 2012 at 01:49:05 PM PDT

  •  Thank you very much for doing this. (3+ / 0-)

    Yes, the Assembly map isn't as friendly to Dems as the Senate map and will require real elbow grease to push our way fully.

    "Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind." -Theodore Seuss Geisel

    by KingofSpades on Mon May 14, 2012 at 02:07:39 PM PDT

  •  I always find it funny how the argument in CA (4+ / 0-)

    is no longer, will democrats control the chamber, but whether the democrats will have a super majority in the chamber.  It's pretty funny that dems actually have a decent shot at getting that 2/3 majoriety though, tells you just how bad the GOP brand is here in California.

    Swingnut since 2009, 21, Male, Democrat, CA-49 (home) CA-14 (college) Join r/elections on reddit! Support Sukhee Kang for CA-45!

    by Daman09 on Mon May 14, 2012 at 02:32:55 PM PDT

  •  Very well done, DJ (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Darth Jeff, atdnext

    I have nothing to argue with, which is SO rare for me.

    -7.75, -8.10; All it takes is security in your own civil rights to make you complacent.

    by Dave in Northridge on Mon May 14, 2012 at 03:04:23 PM PDT

  •  Very nice! Data - ya' gotta love it! n/t (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Darth Jeff, atdnext

    OK. And now we begin the part of the show where we pull out individual words and phrases of the commenter to try to determine the "real" meaning of the comment.... let the games begin.

    by hillbrook green on Mon May 14, 2012 at 03:19:45 PM PDT

  •  Rec'd for the song reference. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Darth Jeff, atdnext

    (and the excellent analysis too, I suppose...)

    Editor, Daily Kos Elections. IL-05.

    by jeffmd on Mon May 14, 2012 at 06:12:59 PM PDT

  •  Since I arrived in OC last Wednesday... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Darth Jeff, KingofSpades

    I've been hearing & seeing so much about this crazy AD 69 primary! And since my dad's house is in AD 69, I'm pretty much in the midst of all the action. IMHO you nailed it in noting the classic "activist progressive base" versus "centrist establishment" civil war that nearly always seems to define the state of the California Democratic Party (CDP).

    From what I understand, the OC Dem establishment have joined hands behind Tom Daly... And they're letting Michele Martinez run in hopes of her splitting the Latin@ vote to deny Julio Perez a spot in the Top 2 runoff. This is the kind of stupid BS that I all too often saw when I lived here. And while the hard core prog Dem activist set in OC can sometimes go too far in demanding "purity" PCCC style, IMHO they have legitimate reason not to trust party leadership pulling all the levers for Daly (and likely using Martinez as a pawn as well).

    And re AD 74, those same hard core prog Dem activists may be irritated that their standard bearer is some dude who was voting for Republicans as late as 2008 and 2010, but I honestly think this HELPS Robert Rush overall in the general, should he make the general. While Obama won AD 74 in 2008 and probably will again this fall, it's still an ancestrally GOP district that just recently started shifting our way. Yet despite its recent GOP lean, AD 74 is also a moderate district that voted AGAINST Prop H8 and favors strong environmental stewardship. IMHO both Daigle & Mansoor are weak and way too controversial for this district. I'd still say it leans GOP for now, but I wouldn't count Rush out.

    •  That's some really good stuff: thanks! (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Martinez looks like she'll have the resources to go against Daly if need be at least.  Will be very interested in how this one goes.

      I can see Rush winning: what we should look for is his fundraising.  The money he invested in his campaign makes him competitive already.  It'll be worth seeing if he can raise it from individuals.  Still think the GOP is strongly favored but if Rush can raise the $ and Dems invest here it's winnable.

      22, male, new CA-18 (home and voting there), LA-2 (college)

      by Jeff Singer on Mon May 14, 2012 at 08:20:24 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  AD 74 is a funky district. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Darth Jeff

        As I said above, it's ancestrally Republican. Outside West Side Costa Mesa (the one heavily Latin@ part of the district), the UCI zone (college folk), and Laguna Beach (hippies, greens, & "teh gayz"), it's not bursting at the seams with Democrats.

        However this seat is NOT some hotbed of "tea party" crazy, either. Allan Mansoor still has a political black eye from his tenure as Costa Mesa Mayor. He helped create the massive budget crisis now plaguing City Hall, and he did so by trying to rival Joe Arpaio, Russell Pierce, & Lou Barletta in anti-immigrant xenophobia. Recently it looks like Costa Mesa has experienced a somewhat Wisconsin/Ohio style backlash against the right-wing extremism, so Mansoor is actually in a tough pickle in having his hometown left in his district.

        And then, there's Leslie Daigle. She also dabbled in anti-immigrant xenophobia when she had an ugly outburst at a local high school in 2006. Since then, her fellow Newport Beach City Council members have declined to allow her to serve as Mayor. (The title is traditionally passed around to each council member.) And since both she and Mansoor are anti-equality, anti-choice, and anti-environment, they're both likely far outside the mainstream of AD 74.

      •  Btw, doubt that on AD 69. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Darth Jeff

        Martinez has fallen behind in the $$$$$ race mostly because no PACs are spending for her. And apparently, she may be running into some personal $$ trouble as well. And since many of her endorsers are also Daly endorsers, I suspect he'll probably have the upper hand in a general election against her.

        Daly's biggest threat is probably Perez (and all his union support).

  •  Brian Nestande (CA-42) is the son of my former (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Darth Jeff

    county supervisor, Bruce Nestande.  Bruce got caught getting a deal on a rental while voting on that developer's project (Portola Hills, now in the city of Lake Forest, but then in unincorporated county).

    If he is as sleezy as his daddy, God help the 42nd.

    202-224-3121 to Congress in D.C. USE it! You can tell how big a person is by what it takes to discourage them. "We're not perfect, but they're nuts."--Barney Frank 01/02/2012

    by cany on Mon May 14, 2012 at 08:50:48 PM PDT

  •  Great work - looks touch and go as to whether we (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Darth Jeff

    get there but I guess a super majority is rarely going to be easy.

    I think this diary is a perfect snapshot of the assembly races. Needless to say a post primary diary is in order.

    Town Planner, 30 years Old, Election Junkie, Thinks John Boehner is starting to be worried about holding the House...

    by CF of Aus on Tue May 15, 2012 at 05:04:06 AM PDT

  •  Reginald Jones-Sawyer (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Darth Jeff

    also lost to Holly Mitchell in the primary for her current Assembly seat.  Note that Mitchell was backed by Diane Watson while Jones-Sawyer was backed by Maxine Waters, in that primary.  (They have a famous rivalry, which I think the linked book, "No Middle Ground" by Seth Masket, goes into.)

    I recall another blog talking about how divisive they thought that primary was going to be, but I don't know if it was.  Let me see if I can find it.

    (And, great work.)

    26, Dem, Dude seeing a dude, CT-04(originally), PA-02/NY-14 (formerly PA-02/NY-12).

    by Xenocrypt on Tue May 15, 2012 at 07:54:43 AM PDT

  •  when i look at the number of seats (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Darth Jeff, KingofSpades

    in play in california, both in congress, and in the state senate and assembly, and consider the importance of breaking the 2/3 barrier in the state leg. to governing this state and breaking the cycle of budget negotiation-driven austerity, i see a very strong strategic argument for democratic californians focusing our campaign donations and grassroots volunteer efforts on california, and letting the rest of the country take care of itself for a change. in 2000, 2004 and 2008, most of our money and shoe leather went out of state, and we underperformed our potential IMO because of it. now that we have the new district lines, we really ought to just maximize our wins in-state, and help take back the house with a big CA delegation for our national contribution.

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