Tag Archives: AD-37

AD-37: Warren Harwood Announces Candidacy

Audra Strickland is termed out next year, so there’s an open seat in AD-37.  Looking at the numbers from cali_girl_in_texas, AD-37 looks like a reasonable pickup opportunity.

District Incumbent DEM GOP Margin 2008 Result
Audra Strickland

There is still a registration advantage for the Republicans, but in 2008, the race was tight. With a shoestring budget, Ferial Masry came within 4 points of Audra Strickland garnering 48% of the vote.  A well-funded campaign could make the district highly competitive.

Enter Warren Harwood, a 69 year old trustee of the Pleasant Valley School District with experience in a staggering array of political and policy positions. Harwood says that while he thinks Masry was a great candidate, he plans to run whether she does or not. Unlike the Stricklands before him, Harwood understands the reality of the budget crisis.

“It’s not right to cut off dental services to the poor and disabled,” he said. “We can make AIDS/HIV infection a condition you can live with – and we’re going to cut off medication for that? It’s cruel. It’s medieval. And we can’t run the schools with IOUs.”


“You’ve got to mix the revenue enhancements that fit with our current recession, matched with judicious cuts,” he said. “It’s isn’t taxing oil extraction that’s going to kill our economy, it’s the chaos in state government. The idea of not one penny of revenue enhancements is ridiculous.” (Ventura County Star 6/7/09)

Interestingly, Harwood lives right down the street from the only Republican candidate for the seat, Jeff Gorell. Gorell is your typical Republican Jarvis-ite candidate. He’s already been endorsed by the Stricklands, so you know he’ll probably be just like what’s been in that district for the last 11 years. Greenwashing politicians that fight the reality of our economic condition while portraying themselves to the voters of Ventura County as some sort of environmental champions.

Prospects for Hannah-Beth Jackson Are Grim in SD-19

(sometimes, close recount elections don’t go our way. – promoted by Dante Atkins (hekebolos))

It is with a heavy heart that I report the news that things aren’t looking good in the Jackson-Strickland race in SD-19.  Strickland has retaken a lead in the provisional and absentee counts that he is unlikely to relinquish barring a small miracle, as favorable Santa Barbara County is nearly entirely counted, leaving pro-Strickland Ventura County and the pro-Strickland sliver of L.A. County to probably pad his lead.  The Santa Barbara Independent has more:

Tony Strickland surged to a 1,560 vote lead over Hannah-Beth Jackson Wednesday, on the strength of newly counted ballots in Ventura County. Santa Barbara county’s registrar also reported counting new ballots, which favored the Democrat, but not by nearly enough to make up for the Republican’s strength in Ventura.

It is the first significant lead for either candidate in the closely-contested 19th state senate district since Election Day, and puts Strickland in a commanding position, as counting continues in three counties with portions of the sprawling district.

The overall tally now stands at:

Strickland 187,631 (50.20)

Jackson 186,071 (49.79)

A 1,560 vote lead normally wouldn’t be insurmountable with well over 50,000 votes left to count.  Unfortunately, most of those voters are likely to accrue in Strickland’s favor:

About 1,000 vote by mail ballots remain to be counted in Santa Barbara County, the only place where she has run ahead of Strickland, in addition to about 6,000 provisional ballots; the latter are likely to favor Jackson, as many of them are believed to have been cast by late-registering UCSB students.

However, Strickland is winning handily in Ventura County, which has about 40,000 absentees and 15,000 provisionals outstanding; he has also run well ahead of Jackson in the small part of the district that is in L.A. County. There, the registrar has about 225,000 more vote by mail ballots to count, but only a small number of them are in the 19th district.

Make no mistake about it: this is a tough loss to take if all goes as it appears.  For me, it’s even tougher than Prop 8, and not just because I live in the district.  With Prop 8, there was a sense that we lost due to complacency and poor messaging; with Hannah-Beth, we made our best case and put everything we could into the fight, given the simultaneous urgency of a national election.  The idea that extremist Phony Tony Strickland will be my State Senator for the next four years is literally sickening to me.

But there is some good news for the future that should worry both of the execrable Stricklands.  Red Zone candidate Ferial Masry ran a surprisingly close race against Audra Strickland in the 37th Assembly district representing parts of Ventura and L.A. counties, coming within 3 points of victory in that tough district (and this despite numerous disadvantages in funding, candidate support and perceived “Americanness”).  There is no reason to believe that we cannot build on this success by holding Audra accountable for her votes.

As for Tony?  He’s got three big problems.  The first is that Ventura County flipped from red to blue earlier this year in terms of voter registrations–and those numbers have shifted even farther in our direction since.  This is not just due to discontent with Bush and the Obama Effect: emigres from Los Angeles are swelling Ventura County’s ranks as more and more Angelenos come to appreciate this oft-overlooked area’s natural advantages.  The path to victory for Republicans like Tony Strickland is only going to get steeper from here.

Second, Obama’s first term will likely end up going smoothly with good approval ratings, or very poorly with low approval ratings.  Given the precarious, sour  and moody state of the nation, we’re unlikely to see an apathetic, middling result.  As a consequence, the next presidential election is unlikely to be a close contest one way or another.  Our poor experiences in California this year will likely have taught us that we need to Stay for Change–especially if a Democratic Governor is elected in  2010, putting GOP legislators as the biggest remaining obstacle to real change in California.

But Tony’s third and biggest problem is that as an incumbent he will have 4-year voting record in the State Senate.  Tony’s campaign this year was built entirely on lies; so much so, in fact, that I can say with all sincerity that he ran the most dishonest campaign I’ve personally had the misfortune of seeing up close.  He will no longer be able to run as an “independent”, as all his yard signs and mailers deceitfully claimed.  He will no longer be able to claim “green” credentials by posing as an alternative energy entrepreneur.  He will simply be the incumbent: the Republican incumbent, and with a track record to boot.

So assuming that demography is destiny and the remaining ballots sort themselves out as poorly as we expect, it’s not the end of the road, but merely the beginning.  The Stricklands will have earned themselves 2 to 4 years of respite through dishonest campaigning.  More Democratic voters, increased intensity, and an unequivocal track record will see them on their way out of Sacramento in a few short years.

State Legislature Picture – One Week Out

As Brian hit earlier today, these are tough times for the California Yacht Party.  There are competitive races in the state Legislature, in particular the Assembly, in over 30% of the seats currently held by Republicans.  Democratic allies are obviously feeling excited about these races as well, as the independent expenditures have jumped.  Here’s my list of the top races in order of likelihood of a flip:


1) AD-80. Manuel Perez (D) is poised for victory in this Palm Springs-area seat.  The polls have shown double-digit leads.  LIKELY DEM.

2) AD-78.  Marty Block (D), the recipient of a lot of that largesse from the IE’s, is not in an easy race with Republican John McCann (not McCain) by any stretch.  The ads have been tough on both sides and the California Dental Association is unusually interested in knocking off Block.  But it’s a Democratic year and the top of the ticket should help him.  LEAN DEM.

3) AD-15.  The big news here is that Ed Chavez, the Republican mayor of Stockton, endorsed Joan Buchanan for this seat.  Chavez is a moderate and a former Democrat, but an endorsement like this in one of the bigger cities in the district is helpful.  Buchanan looks strong.  LEAN DEM.

4) AD-10.  Calitics Match candidate Alyson Huber has her very first ad on the air, attacking her opponent Jack Sieglock for being a “career politician.”  It’s funny, too (although I think everyone has to stop with the I’m a Mac/I’m a PC parodies).  The response from the Sieglock camp has been to call Huber a carpetbagger, but considering she’s lived in the area and went to college there before transferring to Cornell, that hit doesn’t make a lot of sense.  Unions are spending big up here.  I think this one goes late into Election Night.  TOSS UP.

5) AD-26.  Jack O’Connell just endorsed John Eisenhut, and the state Democratic Party obviously has some numbers it likes – they just poured $300,000 into the race.  There’s going to be a major flooding of the district with cash in the final week, and Eisenhut has a 5:1 cash-on-hand advantage.  I really think this one is close, with Bill Berryhill slightly favored.  SLIGHT LEAN REPUBLICAN.

6) AD-36.  It really would be incredible to pull off this race.  A Democrat has not represented Palmdale in this seat since 1974.  But Linda Jones has a real chance to pull this off.  Republican Steve Knight is an LAPD officer and he’s still favored, but I’m hoping against hope.  This is the tipping point race.  LEAN REPUBLICAN.

7) AD-37.  Ferial Masry’s third try to unseat Audra Strickland (R) is getting a lot of residual help in this race from the hotly contested Senate contest in SD-19 between Tony Strickland.  I don’t see a lot of people voting for one Strickland and not the other, so it’s even more helpful in this case.  Timm Herdt of the Ventura County Star thinks the race is tightening – he’s seen Strickland release several mailers and the Democratic Party play a bit on Masry’s behalf.  Alberto Torrico and Karen Bass have been in the district.  This is a sleeper.  LEAN REPUBLICAN.

8) AD-02.  The only reason this is up there is because the guy the Republicans put up may not live in the district.

A claim that Republican Assembly candidate Jim Nielsen doesn’t live in the district in which he’s running has apparently led the secretary of state’s office to refer the case for prosecution.

Complainant Barry Clausen of Redding received a letter from the state office, dated Tuesday. The one-page notice says it has concluded its investigation against Nielsen and referred the case for prosecution to the state attorney general’s office.

Going to the AG’s office is pretty far down the road.  Paul Singh might just back into this race.  LIKELY REPUBLICAN.

9) AD-59. Anthony Adams is actually an incumbent, making this a more difficult battle.  But Bill Postmus’ explosion in San Bernardino county has soured the reputation of Republicans in the district, and Donald Williamson, the San Bernardino County assessor, has a decent profile.  This is certainly on the far outside edge of being competitive.  LIKELY REPUBLICAN.

10) AD-66.  There’s still the idea that Grey Frandsen can steal this seat for the Democrats, and while it’s unlikely against incumbent Kevin Jeffries, The local Inland Empire paper has kept an eye on this race.  It’s not out of the realm of possibility.  LIKELY REPUBLICAN.

AD-63 and AD-65 have potential as well, but this time I think they’re SAFE.


1) SD-19.  This is just an epic battle with loads of cash on both sides, mainly because it’s the only seat worth playing in for the State Senate.  The Ventura County Star endorsed Hannah-Beth Jackson over Tony Strickland, and she used some humor to mock Strickland’s endless attack mailers.  It’s going to be a long night waiting for this one in Ventura and Santa Barbara County. TOSS-UP.

The Drive For 2/3: Republicans Falling Off The Cliff

There are two arguments against Prop. 11.  One is that in 60% of the regions of the state, no amount of gerrymandering is going to create a competitive seat (and that’s all this redistricting measure would accomplish – gerrymandering under another name).  I live in Santa Monica.  I have yet to get a legitimate answer about how to incorporate my 70-80% Democratic city into a contiguous region and make it competitive.  You go South and there’s Venice and the South Bay, and by the time you get to a Republican pocket the district is too large to include them.  You go north and there’s Malibu and the Palisades and blue cities up the coast.  You go east and there’s Los Angeles, with liberals everywhere.  You go west and you’re in the ocean.

The other argument is that the other 40% of the state actually has the potential for competition, and the district boundaries are indeed not constrictive.  Demography is destiny but it is not static.  People die, people are born, people achieve voting age.  People move into cities, others move out.  This demographic shift has been occurring for a while now, with the eastern counties moving back to the Democrats, and it’s reaching a critical mass in 2008.

Until recently I considered the drive for a 2/3 majority in the Assembly and the Senate to be a two-year project, culminating with a new Democratic governor in 2010.  That is still true in the Senate, thanks to Don Perata’s bungling of races in SD-12 and SD-15.  Honestly, he should be indicted for his failed leadership, forget the corruption.  But in the Assembly, we absolutely have the chance to get a 2/3 majority, and everyone is starting to recognize that.

SACRAMENTO – The sliding economy and other factors are giving a lift to Democrats in key legislative races that are coming down to the wire, according to consultants working with those races.

In polls that ask whether likely voters would vote for a generic Democrat or Republican in five state Assembly districts with open seats, Democrats get the nod in all five.

What’s more, in two seats held by Republicans – Assembly Districts 38 and 63 – a generic Democrat vs. Republican race is a dead heat, according to the consultants, who hosted a background briefing for reporters Tuesday.

That would be seven races, and six seats are needed for 2/3.

This has been increasingly clear over the past several months.  Manuel Perez has been pulling away in his race in AD-80 against Gary Jeandron with his transformative message of social and economic justice.  Marty Block has been outspending his opponent John McCann in AD-78 by over 8:1 in TV advertising, although McCann is benefiting from IEs, including, bizarrely enough, the California Dental Association.  Between those two plurality-Democratic seats, and the competitive race in AD-15 with Joan Buchanan, 3 seats looked like a good haul.

At this point, Republicans ought to pull out of those 3 seats altogether and put up a firewall.  Because Alyson Huber is looking very strong in AD-10.  And the unions are throwing down for John Eisenhut in AD-26.  And there are wild-card seats that are starting to look incredibly attractive.

The Antelope Valley, the vast open land between Los Angeles and San Bernadino counties typically isn’t very hospitable territory for Democrats for the legislature. It’s the home of the hard-right couple of George and Sharon Runners, who, between them, have occupied the 36th district Assembly seat for more than a decade. No Democrat has held the seat since 1974.

This year, things might be a little different. Democrats have nearly evened the registration gap, down to just a two percent GOP advantage compared to eight points just two years ago.

Enter Linda Jones, a Westside Union School District trustee and a Vice president of the Antelope Valley School Boards Association, who is making a hard run for the seat. She is taking on Palmdale City Council member Steve Knight, a former LA police officer.

Jones is no sacrificial lamb. She’s been running full throttle for months, backed by labor, educators, and African-American groups. Knight, a former LA police officer, is a cookie-cutter Republican running on illegal immigration, a no tax pledge, and a strong opponent of gun control.

We can win that race.  Eric Bauman tipped me off to it three months ago.

AD-37, with Ferial Masry running against Audra Strickland, is winnable too, especially if she gets a draft off of Hannah-Beth Jackson’s overlapping State Senate race.  And AD-63 is even on a generic ballot, according to Democratic consultants.  And AD-66 could be a surprise on election night, thanks to a strong candidate in Grey Frandsen, a former employee of Russ Feingold.  If you add that up, you’re talking about 9 of the 32 Assembly seats held by Republicans in play, over 30%.  So does that sound like gerrymandering to you?  A progressive wave makes redistricting talk look ridiculous.

Alberto Torrico is giving the soft sell, but this is a great opportunity.  It’s a wave election, and every new voter that Obama turns out in California is a likely candidate to vote the Democratic ticket.  Every new voter registered by a Congressional candidate might vote for a Democrat in the Senate and Assembly.  And it’s not as easy for Republicans to play defense in such an environment.  They have the dismal national economic picture and the state budget crisis to contend with, and they’re out of money.

If there was no excuse yesterday, there’s REALLY no excuse now.  This is the time.  If the laws of the state government are designed to prevent change, if they force us to meet “unreachable” goals, then we reach them.  

Do everything you can to get 2/3.

More from Louis Jacobson.

California Race Chart (Part 3 of 3: House/State Legislature Races B)

Here is Part 3, the last part of my analysis of this fall’s elections in California, which will cover the races for the U.S. House, State Senate, and State Assembly seats in Southern California, and summarize which races we need to win.

Here is Part 1, which covered the presidential race and the 12 ballot measures: https://calitics.com/showDiary….

Here is Part 2, which covered the U.S. House, State Senate, and State Assembly races in Northern and Central California: https://calitics.com/showDiary….

Cross-posted at Swing State Project: http://www.swingstateproject.c…

Incumbents are in boldface. In the case of open seats, the party of the retiring incumbent is listed first without boldface.

U.S. House (Composition: 34 Democrats, 19 Republicans)

CA-22 (Bakersfield): McCarthy (R) – unopposed

CA-23 (Southern Central Coast): Capps (D)

CA-24 (Inner Santa Barbara/Ventura): Gallegly (R)

CA-25 (Palmdale, Big Empty): McKeon (R)

CA-27 (Western San Fernando Valley): Sherman (D)

CA-28 (Eastern San Fernando Valley): Berman (D) – unopposed

CA-29 (Burbank, Glendale, Pasadena): Schiff (D)

CA-30 (Malibu, Beverly Hills): Waxman (D) – only faces a write-in candidate

CA-31 (Hollywood): Becerra (D) – unopposed

CA-32 (Covina, Baldwin Park): Solis (D) – unopposed

CA-33 (Culver City): Watson (D)

CA-34 (Downtown L.A.): Roybal-Allard (D)

CA-35 (South Central): Waters (D)

CA-36 (Beach Cities): Harman (D)

CA-37 (South Central, Long Beach): Richardson (D) – opposed only by minor party candidates

CA-38 (Southeastern L.A. suburbs): Napolitano (D) – opposed only by a Libertarian

CA-39 (Southeastern L.A. County): Linda Sánchez (D)

CA-40 (Northern Orange County): Royce (R)

CA-43 (Ontario, San Bernardino): Baca (D)

CA-47 (Anaheim, Santa Ana): Loretta Sanchez (D)

CA-48 (Central Orange County, including Irvine): Campbell (R)

CA-49 (Temecula, Oceanside): Issa (R)

CA-51 (Imperial County, southern SD suburbs): Filner (D)

CA-53 (San Diego): Davis (D)

Races to watch:

CA-26 (Northeastern L.A. suburbs): David Dreier (R) vs. Russ Warner (D), Ted Brown (L)

Registration: R+7.73%

Profile: This is my home turf, in the northeastern L.A. suburbs. It was drawn to be red, but has been purpling recently, with a Cook PVI of only R+4. Warner is a tough challenger, though he’s at a huge cash disadvantage, 40:1 last I checked.

09/19/2008 Outlook: Likely Dreier

CA-41 (Most of San Bernardino County): Jerry Lewis (R) vs. Tim Prince (D)

Registration: R+11.96%

Profile: While it’s unlikely this district will flip, it will be interesting to see how Prince’s challenges on Lewis’s dealings with earmarks will go. I noticed this district now has a 3-star rating on DC Political Report, meaning this race will be mildly entertaining.

09/19/2008 Outlook: Strong Lewis

CA-42 (Chino, Brea): Gary Miller (R) vs. Edwin Chau (D)

Registration: R+18.28%

Profile: Here is another solidly Republican district with a Republican incumbent that could get into hot water over corruption, in this case steering funds toward an OC tollway ( http://downwithtyranny.blogspo… ), and this race has a 3-star rating on DC Political also.

09/19/2008 Outlook: Strong Miller

CA-44 (Riverside, Corona, San Clemente): Ken Calvert (R) vs. Bill Hedrick (D)

Registration: R+10.89%

Profile: I’m beginning to sound like a broken record, but here we go again: strong GOP district, GOP incumbent possibly in trouble over earmarks ( http://www.politickerca.com/al… ). Hedrick’s only real problem is money.

09/19/2008 Outlook: Strong Calvert

CA-45 (Most of Riverside County): Mary Bono Mack (R) vs. Julie Bornstein (D)

Registration: R+5.80%

Profile: While Bono Mack has seen this challenge coming, significantly outraising Bornstein, we still have a shot here from increased Latino turnout in the Coachella Valley and the highly contested AD-80 race, since that district partially overlaps this one.

9/19/2008 Outlook: Strong Bono Mack

CA-46 (Costa Mesa, Palos Verdes, Avalon): Dana Rohrabacher (R) vs. Debbie Cook (D), Ernst Gasteiger (L), Tom Lash (G)

Registration: R+13.65%

Profile: Here we are in yet another strongly Republican district, only here we have a strong Democratic challenger in Huntington Beach mayor Debbie Cook. Some pundits are finally getting around to looking at this race, with Charlie Cook now rating it “Likely Republican” ( http://www.dailykos.com/story/… ), ( http://www.politickerca.com/al… ) and DC Political giving it a 4-star rating, meaning there is going to be considerable entertainment in this race. Here are a couple of totally awesome interviews with Mayor Cook, at Open Left ( http://openleft.com/showDiary…. ) and TPM ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v… ).

09/19/2008 Outlook: Likely Rohrabacher

CA-50 (Northern San Diego suburbs): Brian Bilbray (R) vs. Nick Leibham (D), Wayne Dunlap (L)

Registration: R+11.23%

Profile: Here’s the old seat of the corrupt Uncle Duke, now held by his protégé Bilbray. The DCCC has targeted this race ( http://www.dccc.org/page/conte… ), and Leibham has been visible. If he can strongly articulate an agenda, then we will have ourselves a race here.

09/19/2008 Outlook: Likely Bilbray

CA-52 (Eastern San Diego suburbs): Duncan D. Hunter (R) vs. Mike Lumpkin (D), Michael Benoit (L) – vacated by Duncan Hunter (R)

Registration: R+13.39%

Profile: Lumpkin is a great challenger from what I heard ( https://calitics.com/showDi… ), though we still have a battle on our hands, since most voters that pulled the lever for Hunter in the primary thought they were voting for his retiring father and Lumpkin will need more cash here.

09/19/2008 Outlook: Strong Hunter

STATE SENATE (District size: ~846,791) (Composition: 25 Democrats, 15 Republicans)


SD-17 (High Desert): George Runner (R)

SD-21 (Burbank, Glendale, Pasadena): Carol Liu (D) – vacated by Jack Scott (D)

SD-23 (West Side L.A., Oxnard): Fran Pavley (D) – vacated by Sheila Kuehl (D)

SD-25 (South Central, Palos Verdes): Roderick Wright (D) – vacated by Edward Vincent (D)

SD-27 (Long Beach, Avalon): Alan Lowenthal (D)

SD-29 (Eastern L.A. suburbs): Bob Huff (R) – vacated by Bob Margett (R)

SD-31 (Inland Empire, Riverside): Robert Dutton (R)

SD-33 (Most of inland Orange County): Mimi Walters (R) – vacated by Dick Ackerman (R)

SD-35 (Coastal Orange County): Tom Harman (R)

SD-37 (Most of Riverside County): John Benoit (R) – vacated by Jim Battin (R)

SD-39 (San Diego): Christine Kehoe (D)

District to watch:

SD-19 (Southern Central Coast, western L.A. suburbs): Tony Strickland (R) vs. Hannah-Beth Jackson (D) – vacated by Tom McClintock (R)

Registration: R+1.96%

Profile: Here is McClintock’s district, which we have a very good chance of picking up, with Ventura County recently obtaining a Democratic advantage in registration and with Jackson maintaining high visibility throughout the district ( http://tinyurl.com/6ehde6 ).

09/19/2008 Outlook: Toss-up

STATE ASSEMBLY (District size: ~423,388) (Composition: 48 Democrats, 32 Republicans)


AD-35 (Santa Barbara, Oxnard): Pedro Nava (D)

AD-38 (Santa Clarita): Cameron Smyth (R)

AD-39 (San Fernando): Felipe Fuentes (D)

AD-40 (San Fernando Valley, including Van Nuys): Bob Blumenfield (D) – vacated by Lloyd Levine (D)

AD-41 (Oxnard, Malibu, Santa Monica): Julia Brownley (D)

AD-42 (Beverly Hills, West Hollywood): Michael Feuer (D)

AD-43 (Burbank, Glendale): Paul Krekorian (D)

AD-44 (Pasadena): Anthony Portantino (D)

AD-45 (East L.A.): Kevin de León (D)

AD-46 (East L.A., Huntington Park): John Pérez (D) – vacated by Fabian Núñez (D)

AD-47 (Culver City): Karen Bass (D)

AD-48 (Part of South Central L.A.): Mike Davis (D)

AD-49 (Inner Northeastern suburbs of L.A.): Mike Eng (D)

AD-50 (Bellflower): Hector De La Torre (D) – unopposed

AD-51 (Inglewood, Hawthorne): Curren Price (D)

AD-52 (Compton): Isadore Hall (D) – vacated by Mervyn Dymally (D)

AD-53 (Beach Cities): Ted Lieu (D)

AD-54 (Palos Verdes, Long Beach, Avalon): Bonnie Lowenthal (D) – vacated by Betty Karnette (D)

AD-55 (Carson, Long Beach): Warren Furutani (D)

AD-56 (Norwalk, Buena Park): Tony Mendoza (D)

AD-57 (Covina, Baldwin Park): Ed Hernandez (D)

AD-58 (Inner Eastern suburbs of L.A.): Charles Calderon (D)

AD-59 (Parts of L.A. and San Bernardino Counties): Anthony Adams (R)

AD-60 (Western Inland Empire): Curt Hagman (R) – vacated by Bob Huff (R)

AD-61 (Pomona, Ontario): Norma Torres (D) – vacated by Nell Soto (D)

AD-62 (San Bernardino, Fontana): Wilmer Carter (D) – unopposed

AD-63 (Northern and Eastern Inland Empire): Bill Emmerson (R)

AD-64 (Riverside, Palm Desert): Brian Nestande (R) – unopposed – vacated by John Benoit (R)

AD-65 (Yucca Valley, Big Bear): Paul Cook (R)

AD-66 (Temecula, Riverside): Kevin Jeffries (R)

AD-67 (Huntington Beach): Jim Silva (R)

AD-68 (Garden Grove, Costa Mesa): Van Tran (R)

AD-69 (Anaheim, Santa Ana): Jose Solorio (D)

AD-70 (Central Orange County): Chuck DeVore (R)

AD-71 (Corona, part of inland Orange County): Jeff Miller (R) – unopposed – vacated by Todd Spitzer (R)

AD-72 (Inland Northern Orange County): Michael Duvall (R)

AD-73 (San Clemente, Oceanside): Diane Harkey (R) – vacated by Mimi Walters (R)

AD-74 (Coastal Northern San Diego suburbs): Martin Garrick (R)

AD-75 (Inner Northern San Diego suburbs): Nathan Fletcher (R) – vacated by George Plescia (R)

AD-76 (Northern San Diego City): Lori Saldaña (D)

AD-77 (Most of inland San Diego County): Joel Anderson (R)

AD-79 (Southern San Diego City, Imperial Beach): Mary Salas (D)

Districts to watch:

AD-36 (Lancaster, Palmdale): Steve Knight (R) vs. Linda Jones (D) – vacated by Sharon Runner (R)

Registration: R+2.85%

Profile: While this is not a likely pickup, Jones may make this a race due to the shrinking Republican registration advantage.

9/19/2008 Outlook: Lean Knight

AD-37 (Most of Ventura, small part of L.A.): Audra Strickland (R) vs. Ferial Masry (D)

Registration: R+7.25%

Profile: This district partly overlaps SD-19 and in fact Audra Strickland is Tony Strickland’s wife (and they aren’t related to the governor of Ohio). If Hannah-Beth Jackson does well here, her GOTV efforts could spill over into this race.

9/19/2008 Outlook: Strong Strickland

AD-78 (Inner eastern suburbs of San Diego): John McCann (R) vs. Martin Block (D) – vacated by Shirley Horton (R)

Registration: D+10.48%

Profile: Block has the advantage in this race thanks to the D’s advantage in party registration.

09/19/2008 Outlook: Lean Block

AD-80 (Imperial County, eastern Riverside County): Gary Jeandron (R) vs. Manuel Perez (D) – vacated by Bonnie Garcia (R)

Registration: D+11.22%

Profile: Perez is doing very well here, and a recent poll gave him a double-digit lead. Hopefully his good performance here will spill over into CA-45, which partly overlaps this district.

09/19/2008 Outlook: Lean Perez

That’s it for all the California races. Now I will cover what we need to zero in on to win this fall, and also include how we should vote.

Ballot measures

High Priority

#1: Prop 1A: YES YES YES YES YES!!!!!

#2: Prop 6: NO NO NO NO NO!!!!!

#3: Prop 4: NO NO NO NO NO!!!!!

#4: Prop 8: NO NO NO NO NO!!!!!

#5: Prop 7: No

#6: Prop 10: No

Medium Priority

#7: Prop 2: Yes

#8: Prop 5: Undecided

#9: Prop 11: Leaning No

#10: Prop 9: No

Low Priority

#11: Prop 3: Yes

#12: Prop 12: Yes

Our priorities in the House

#1: CA-04

#2: CA-46

#3: CA-26

#4: CA-45

#5: CA-50

#6: CA-52

#7: CA-44

#8: CA-42

#9: CA-41

Our priorities in the Assembly

#1: AD-15

#2: AD-80

#3: AD-78

#4: AD-10

#5: AD-26

#6: AD-36

#7: AD-37

#8: AD-30

To summarize, if we keep CA-11 and win CA-04, we will have 35 Democrats and 18 Republicans in our House delegation. If we win SD-19, we will have 26 Democrats and 14 Republicans. If we win all the toss-up/Dem-leaning Assembly races, we will have 53 Democrats and 27 Republicans, just one short of 2/3. We’d need at least one of the 36th or 37th districts to get us there.

The Calitics Target Book – The Drive For 2/3

The California Target Book released its August “hot sheet” listing potential competitive seats throughout the state legislature.  Well, two can play at this game.  Here are the competitive seats as I see them and a little precis about them:

State Senate

1. SD-19.  Hannah-Beth Jackson (D) v. Tony Strickland (R).  Sadly, thanks to Don Perata’s bungling and undermining this is likely to be the only competitive race out of the 20 up for election in the state Senate.  The good news is that it would be an absolute sea change to replace Tom McClintock with a true progressive like Hannah-Beth Jackson.  With Ventura County’s registration flipping to Democrats over the past year, Ronald Reagan country is no longer solidly red.  Hannah-Beth has been actively courting voters at community events (there’s a BBQ in honor of the “Gap” firefighters on Sunday) and she’s wrapped up lots of endorsements.  With this being the only competitive race, expect it to be costly, as both sides throw millions into capturing the seat.  A win here would put us one seat away from a 2/3 majority in the Senate.

Assembly on the flip…

State Assembly

1. AD-80.  Manuel Perez (D) v. Gary Jeandron (R).  Perez appears to have the right profile for this plurality-Democratic seat currently held by the termed-out Bonnie Garcia.  The most recent poll showed him with a double-digit lead, and he’s consolidating his support by earning the endorsements of the local Stonewall Democratic Club and his primary rival Greg Pettis.  This race is looking strong, and hopefully the raising of performance among Hispanic voters will aid Julie Bornstein in her CA-45 race against Mary Bono.

2. AD-78.  Marty Block (D) vs. John McCann (R).  Block, a Board of Trustees member at San Diego Community College and former dean at San Diego State University, also has a favorable registration advantage in his race against Chula Vista Councilmember John McCann.  This should be a case of party ID sweeping in a lawmaker in a progressive wave thanks to increased turnout for the Presidential election.  Block needs to do his part, of course, in making the case that the 2/3 majority is vital for responsible governance.

3. AD-15.  Joan Buchanan (D) v. Abram Wilson (R).  After a bruising primary, San Ramon Mayor Wilson has barely survived to defend the seat held by Guy Houston against San Ramon Valley school board member Buchanan, who did not have a competitive primary.  She has outraised Wilson by almost 2 to 1 so far in the race and the registration numbers are about even.  I think we have a real chance here.

4. AD-30.  Fran Florez (D) v. Danny Gilmore (R).  This is currently a Democratic seat held by Yacht Dog Nicole Parra, who has practically endorsed the Republican Gilmore for the seat.  That’s unhelpful, but in a Democratic year Gilmore has an uphill climb.  The California Faculty Association has targeted Gilmore in their ads that campaign on the budget, and voters in the Central Valley are fleeing the GOP in droves.  Gilmore has a shot, but I think Florez is in a comfortable position.

5. AD-10.  Alyson Huber (D) vs. Jack Sieglock (R).  Huber, about to hold her campaign kick-off this weekend, is in a district that is rapidly changing.  Registration has shifted over 3% in just two years.  This is a race in the Sacramento area that Randy Bayne covers intently, and he’s fairly high on Huber.  Jack Sieglock is your basic Republican rubber stamp that puts “conservative Republican” in his title, and I’m not certain the district is still organized that way.  This race is also seeing ads from the California Faculty Association.

6: AD-26.  John Eisenhut (D) v. William Berryhill (R).  This is Greg Aghazarian’s old seat, also in northern California in Stanislaus and San Joaquin counties.  Stanislaus recently flipped to Democrats, and Eisenhut, a local almond farmer, fits the profile of the district pretty well.  Berryhill, whose brother Tom is in the Assembly, is also a farmer, and is banking on the Berryhill name ID to win.  There’s a good synopsis of the race here.  Democrats actually have the registration edge in this district.

7. AD-36.  Linda Jones (D) v. Steve Knight (R). Linda is a teacher, school board member and former vocational nurse.  This is an outside shot, but I’m told that the Palmdale-area seat is turning around and may accept a Democrat this time around.

8. AD-59. Donald Williamson (D) v. Anthony Adams (R).  Adams is actually an incumbent, making this a more difficult battle.  But Bill Postmus’ explosion in San Bernardino county has soured the reputation of Republicans in the district, and Williamson, the San Bernardino County assessor, has a decent profile in the district.  This is certainly on the far outside edge of being competitive.

9. AD-37. Ferial Masry (D) v. Audra Strickland (R).  This is another Republican incumbent, and it’s in the same relative district as SD-19 – in fact, the Republicans in both races are Stricklands.  So maybe there will be a residual effect to Hannah-Beth Jackson’s efforts.  Masry, an Arab-American, has been getting good press in the district and definitely has an outside chance.

Thoughts on Region 10 and Democratic Action in Ventura County

This weekend I attended a pre-convention meeting for Region 10 of the California Democratic Party, which stretches from Santa Monica all the way up to the Monterey/San Luis Obispo County line.  This is a big coastal region, parts of which have not been sufficiently Democratic over the years.  But there are some great people in the trenches doing the necessary work to change that.  Here are some disconnected thoughts:

• It is extremely important to spread the Democratic message into outlying counties, because we can’t expect to solely depend on LA and SF to carry us through.  In 1992, Democrats controlled 41 counties in California; by 2006, that number had dwindled to 22.

• One of the most vibrant areas of the state for Democrats is Ventura County.  Whether it’s because of demographic shifts (more people moving in from Santa Barbara) or a lot of hard work, the results are impressive.  While statewide, Democratic registration has faltered over the past 15 years, in Ventura County Democrats hold a scant 5,000 vote disadvantage currently, compared to 15,000 not but a few years ago. 

• One of the great pilot programs that Democrats in Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties have rolled out is called Vote Blue.  This is a neighbor-to-neighbor program that uses targeted canvassing to spread the progressive message in communities.  They get new homeowner information and arrive at the new resident’s doorstep, saying “Hi, we’re your neighbors, here’s some voter registration information for this area, here’s some information on the Democratic agenda.”  I know we bloggers like to stay on the Internets and ensure never having to talk to anyone, but there’s no substitute for this kind of real-life neighbor-to-neighbor contact.  They also sweeten the pot by adding a 3-month free subscription to the local paper, which the papers are all too happy to give them.  This is the kind of thing Democrats all over the state should be doing on a weekly basis, not just around elections.  You can get more informaiton at the link.

• There is strong support at the grassroots for a 58-county strategy, and every single delegate reading this needs to add their endorsement to that issue and make sure the Resolutions Committee is flooded with people supporting it.

• The SD-19 race is not going to be a walkover for Republicans, even though it’s currently held by Tom McClintock.  I met Jim Dantona at the meeting, and hope to do a longer piece on his chances later.  He ran for County Supervisor in Simi Valley last time out, easily the most Republican city in the region, and garnered 48% of the vote in a district that is something like +30 Republican registration.  We may have parity in registration for this Senate district by the time this race comes around in 2008, and Dantona appears to be running.  Keep this one on the radar screen.

• Another great success story was relayed by Henry Vandemire, chair of the Computer and Internet Caucus and head of the Big Bear Lake Democratic Club.  Big Bear is also 2/1 Republican, and yet they managed to get 3 Democrats on the City Council for the first time in as long as anyone can remember.  And they did it entirely through civic action, visibility and hard work.

There are opportunities for the party to grow, and there would be even more if the Party leaders fully commit to a 58-county strategy and strengthen the efforts of these progressive leaders in red counties.  The Party must live up to its commitments of supporting Democrats everywhere.  That means providing the money they promise to candidates, like Ferial Masry in AD-37 and Jill Martinez in CA-24 (that’s very likely to be an open seat next time around).  These two are both running again, and can win if they get even a modicum of support from the state party.

That’s all I’ve got for now.  I invited many of the people at the meeting to start posting on Calitics, hopefully we’ll begin to see Ventura and Santa Barbara better represented here.