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Opinion: Richard Markuson

Thursday, November 29, 2018

California Republicans and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day[1] Update
Last time there were a few races too close to call that have now been settled:

  • CA 39 (parts of LA, Orange, and San Bernardino Counties). Gil Cisneros (D) beat Young Kim (R) by slightly more than 7,000 votes.
  • SD 34 (parts of LA and Orange). Tom Umberg (D) appears to have beat incumbent Janet Nguyen (R) by about 3,000 votes (1%).
  • AD 16 (parts of Alameda and Contra Costa Counties). Incumbent Catharine Baker (R) conceded to Rebecca Bauer-Kahan (D)--the margin--about 3,000 votes (1.4%).
  • AD 38 (parts of LA, and Ventura Counties). Incumbent Dante Acosta (R) lost to Christy Smith (D) by about 5,000 votes--2.6%.
  • AD 60 (Western Riverside County). Incumbent Sabrina Cervantes (D) beat Bill Essayli (R) by 5,000 votes (5%).
Two more races are now "close."
  • AD 77 (North Coast San Diego) has incumbent Brian Maienschein (R) only about 900 votes ahead of Sunday Gover (D).
  • And in a big shock, TJ Cox (D) has pulled about 400 votes ahead of incumbent David Valadao in CA 21 (Fresno, Kern, Kings & Tulare). As the BEE wrote "On Monday afternoon, the latest numbers came in. They were staggering. Cox over performed in Kern County, capturing 73 percent of the 1,883 votes that came. And just like that, a 447-vote deficit turned into a 438-vote lead." This positions Democrats to pick up their seventh House seat in California and 40th nationwide. This would be the largest pickup since Watergate.
The State Legislature convenes next Monday at noon and will likely swear in Umberg in SD 34--even though the results may not be final. County elections officials must report their final results to the Secretary of State by December 7, 2018. Then the Secretary of State will certify the results by December 14, 2018. If any of the races change in the interim--they swear in the new person in January (it has happened).
Democrats have not had this many seats in the State Senate (29) since 1962 and not in the State Assembly (60) since 1883. Alex Vassar, legislative historian for the California State Library said "Voters gave Democrats an advantage in the Legislature that is unprecedented in modern times."

[1] With apologies to Judith Viorst