By WUD Government Affairs Team

*The following recap of last Tuesdays midterm primary election was written June 10th, 2022. Many counties did/do not have finalized results yet; parts of this rundown may be subject to change in the coming weeks.

Turnout for the June primary, as of June 10th, 2022 is at 20.8% which is historically low, even with efforts to make voting easier, (i.e. every registered voter gets a votebymail ballot) very few participated in this election. This turnout model skews to an older, whiter electorate, shaped by partisan voters, with independent registrants staying home in larger percentages than those registered to one of the major parties. The alltime low turnout prior to 2022 is 25% in June 2014. This election trend follows national turnout numbers in other state primary elections where turnout was also very low. Lack of participation is attributed by voter discontent with the economic outlook, falling stock markets, gas prices, inflation, war in Ukraine, gun violence, and a growing sense that our elected institutions cannot adequately address our current challenges.

Total Registered Voters 81.53%
Democrat Registration 46.77%
Republican Registration 23.93%
No Party Preference Registration 22.71%
Total Turnout 20.8%

Statewide Offices

Democratic candidates will hold every statewide elected office for the foreseeable future as Governor Newsom, Lt. Governor Kounalakis, Attorney General Bonta, Treasurer Ma, Secretary of State Weber, and State Superintendent of Public Instruction Thurmond seem to have coasted through their primary elections and, barring something unforeseen, will likely easily win their November elections. There may be two competitive statewide races this November as Stanford professor Lanhee Chen will face off against Board of Education member Malia Cohen for Controller and current Insurance Commissioner Lara could face another Democrat, Asm. Marc Levine, in the November runoff; its too soon to know given the Republican candidate Howell leads Levine by 15,000 votes as of today (6/10/22).

Redistricting, Retirements, and TopTwo Creates New Opportunities in the Legislature

Democrats will hold 60 of 80 seats in the State Assembly and could grow that number to 62 or more after the November election. This megamajority locks in a Democrat supermajority (2/3rds vote) for the foreseeable future which means the majority party can pass fee and tax increases on partyline votes. While the number of Democrats in the Assembly next legislative session will grow, the body is likely to be more moderate as the Moderate Democratic Caucus candidates won or advanced 10 out of 12 candidates the caucus was supporting. Some of these candidates will coast to victory in November and some will face more progressive opponents in the November election; the caucus will be raising money to influence the outcomes of those races. While the Assembly does lose a number of moderate members to retirements and municipal and congressional races, the caucus is positioned to not only replenish but grow its ranks and its influence in the Assembly next legislative session. This will have a significant impact on the political makeup of the Democratic caucus and their policy agenda over the next decade.

Voters Respond to Homelessness, Crime and Public Safety

San Francisco voters recalled District Attorney Chesa Boudin, a national leader of criminal justice reform, just three years after he took office. In Los Angeles, moderate democrat Rick Caruso, a former Republican, and major developer who proposes eliminating encampments, placed first in the race for LA Mayor and will face progressive democrat and former Speaker of the Assembly, Congresswoman Karen Bass in the November election. LA County Sheriff Alex Villanueva came in first in his election easily outpacing the number two vote getter and will head into the runoff in November. Sacramento County voters will name Asm. Jim Cooper as the next Sheriff; Cooper ran on a platform of addressing homelessness and crime. Sacramento County voters also elected Thien Ho to become the next District Attorney hes currently the Chief Deputy DA under Anne Marie Schubert, and like Cooper, has prioritized crime and homelessness in his campaign.

NonPartisan Candidates Fell Short

In an election that will perhaps see historically low voter participation, registered Republicans and Democrats represent a higher percentage of overall voter participation. Independent candidate, Sacramento DA and candidate for Attorney General Anne Marie Schubert, garnered only 7.6% of the vote and will not make the runoff election. The two Republican candidates, Hochman and Early are neckandneck for who will runoff against AG Bonta in November. Gubernatorial candidate and relatively higherprofile nonpartisan Michael Shellenberger garnered only 3.8% of the vote and missed the runoff; Republican Senator Brian Dahle placed second to Newsom with 17.3%. Newsom picked up 56.4% of the votes cast. As Margaret Thatcher once said, Standing in the middle of the road is very dangerous; you get knocked down by the traffic from both sides.


Members who have questions or would like more information specific to their district, or would like updates as they becomes available from this primary election should reach out to their Field Representative (Melissa Lema: mlema@wudairies.com or Darby Pedrozo: darby@wudairies.com ) or email the WUD office at info@wudairies.com to be connected with our Government Affairs team.

A full rundown of the updating Primary Election Results provided by the California Secretary of state may be found at https://electionresults.sos.ca.gov/ or by clicking the graphic on this page.

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