2020 Voter Guide
With the California legislative session complete, focus has now shifted to the November General Election. As in past election years, the California Chiropractic Association has put together an election guide containing information, and in many cases endorsement recommendations, for State Assembly and State Senate races as well as ballot initiatives.
Don’t know your Assembly or Senate district? No need to worry, just go to http://findyourrep.legislature.ca.gov/ , input your address and you will be given the districts you live in.
Now that you know which Legislative districts you reside in, you can print out your district specific CalChiro recommendations via the following links. For the Assembly click HERE and for the Senate click HERE.
California Democrats hit an apex in 2018 winning three-quarters of the seats in the Legislature giving them what some commentators are now calling a “gigamajority.” We used to focus on the “supermajority” in the Assembly, which translated to 54 out of the 80 members belonging to the same political party. Democrats hit that supermajority some time ago and have had the ability to pass legislation with higher vote thresholds (e.g. tax/fee increase measures) even if no Republicans support those measures. Under the current Assembly gigamajority, there are currently 61 Democrats, 17 Republicans, 1 Independent (Asm. Chad Mayes who was previously registered as a Republican), and 1 vacancy that is a safe Republican seat (this seat was vacated after Asm. Melissa Melendez won a special Senate election). Speaker Anthony Rendon will be focused on protecting his gigamajority in 2020. Assembly Democrats must defend a number of seats they won in the 2018 Gubernatorial Election, including AD 74 – Cottie Petrie-Norris and AD 76 – Tasha Boerner Horvath. Assembly Republicans have potentially vulnerable seats where Republican voter registration has been shrinking, these include AD 68 – Steven Choi. Other interesting races are AD 13 and AD 33 where we see candidates from the same party facing off against each other in races that could be won by either candidate. With California voters continuing to shift blue and the high turnout typically associated with a Presidential election, we expect the Democrats to hold on to their gigamajority and for Speaker Rendon to potentially expand his party’s seats.
Like their Assembly counterparts, Senate Democrats already enjoy a supermajority plus in the upper house. A supermajority in the Senate translates to 27 out of the 40 members belonging to the same political party – currently there are 29 Democrats and 11 Republicans serving in the State Senate. Unlike the Assembly, Senate seats are up for election every four years and only the odd-numbered Senate districts are up for election in 2020. Senate President Pro Tempore Toni Atkins will be focused on growing her supermajority by seeking to win back SD 29, which was previously held by Democrat Senator Josh Newman. Senator Newman was recalled after casting a vote in support of SB 1 (2018), a tax measure to fund transportation infrastructure. Newman will seek to regain his old Senate seat by taking on sitting Republican Senator Ling Ling Chang. Additional Senate Republicans in SD 21 – Scott Wilk and SD 37 – John Moorlach are also facing stiff challenges. Another race that has become increasingly competitive is in SD 15 where two Democrats – Ann Ravel and Dave Cortese – are both running sophisticated and well-funded campaigns to replace termed out Senator Jim Beall. Other interesting races include Senate District 11, where incumbent Democratic Senator Scott Weiner is facing a challenge from the left by Democratic Socialist Jackie Fielder in San Francisco and SD 23 where Rosilicie Ochoa Bogh is battling Abigail Medina to replace Republican Senator Mike Morrell. Given the same dynamics described above, we expect the Democrats to hold on to their supermajority in 2020.
Statewide Ballot Propositions
There are 12 initiatives on the ballot, where voters will directly decide which proposals will become law. The initiatives include high profile matters like the referendum to repeal SB 10 (2019) that ended cash bail, repeal of Prop. 209’s ban on affirmative action (1996), and a split roll tax measure that would increase certain commercial property taxes. Jump to the end of this report for a full list and summary of all the ballot measures.
There are two Democratic incumbent Senators who are running for local offices in the middle of their Senate terms, potentially triggering a future special election if they are successful. Senator Holly Mitchell (SD 30) and Senator Ben Hueso (SD 40) are termed out in 2022 and are taking their chances in running for county supervisor seats. If either one were to win, the Governor will have to call a special election to fill their vacant Senate seat. If either Senator were to lose, they will serve out the remainder of their terms until 2022. Assemblymember Sydney Kamlager has filed to run for SD 30 in 2022 but one can expect her to run in the special election if Senator Mitchell wins the county supervisor race.