Yesterday, Californians participated in the state’s new “top two” open primary, where the top two vote getters in each district (regardless of party) will advance to the general election in November.
Twenty California State Senate seats were up for election- half the total number of seats in the upper house of the Legislature.
Senate District 1:
Republican State Senator Ted Gaines came out on top with 48.2% of the vote and will be facing off against his Democratic challenger Julie Griffith-Flatter, who secured 30.6% of the vote, this November. Republican Les Baugh and “Bo” Ambrozewicz, a no party preference candidate, failed to secure enough votes to make it through to the general- they came in at 16% and 5.1% respectively.
Senate District 3:
Democratic State Senator Lois Wolk ran unopposed in yesterday’s primary, and will continue moving through to November.
Senate District 5:
This hotly contested San Joaquin County seat will be one of the key races to watch this election cycle. Democratic Legislator Cathleen Galgiani secured 41.3% of the vote and will be facing off against Republican Legislator Bill Berryhill, who secured 35.9% of the vote, in the general election. Leroy Ornellas, a Republican County Supervisor, received 22.7% of the vote- failing to place in the top two.
Senate District 7:
Only two candidates are seeking to represent SD 7 this election cycle- Democrat Mark De Saulnier and GOP challenger Mark Meuser. They will both be moving forward to the November runoff having received 57% and 43% of the vote respectively.
Senate District 9:
Democratic State Senator Loni Hancock ran unopposed in SD 9, and will continue through as the sole contender on November’s ballot.
Senate District 11:
As the two sole contenders for SD 11, Democratic State Senator Mark Leno and GOP challenger Harmeet Dhillon will face each other again in the general elections. Leno secured 81.5% of the total vote from yesterday- far outpacing Dhillon who came in at 18.5%.
Senate District 13:
This is an interesting race that featured three Democrats and one Libertarian on the primary ticket. Democratic Assemblyman Jerry Hill secured the largest portion of the vote at 51.3% and will be facing off against fellow Democrat and former Legislator Sally Lieber, who came in at 22.1%, this November. Democrat Christopher Chiang (10.7%) and Libertarian John Webster (15.9%) were unable to secure the top two spots in yesterday’s primary.
State Senate District 15:
Democratic Assemblyman Jim Beall and former Democratic Assemblyman Joe Coto are both seeking to represent this Santa Clara County seat. As the only two contenders in the race, they will both be on November’s ballot. Jim Beall received 54.9% of the total votes cast, while Coto received 45.1%.
State Senate District 17:
Democratic Assemblyman Bill Monning will be facing GOP challenger Larry Beaman in November’s general. As the only two candidates on the primary ballot, Monning and Beaman received 59.2% and 40.8% of the votes respectively.
State Senate District 19:
This was an interesting three-way battle between former Democratic State Assemblywoman Hannah-Beth Jackson, fellow Democrat Jason Hodge-a Harbor District Commissioner, and former Republican County Supervisor Mike Stoker. Stoker the lone Republican in the race came out on top with 45.3% of the vote, and will be challenged by Jackson who received 41.2%. Hodge, who received 13.5% of the total vote, will be unable to move through to the general.
State Senate District 21:
SD 21 is considered a safe Republican seat, and yesterday’s poll results confirm that notion. Republican Assemblyman Steve Knight far outpaced his Democratic challenger Star Moffatt with 68.6% of the vote to Moffatt’s 31.4%. However, both will be moving through to November as they are the only two candidates seeking to represent this district.
State Senate District 23:
Only two candidates were on yesterday’s ballot for SD 23. Republican State Senator Bill Emmerson received 64.5% of the vote and will again face his Democratic challenger Melissa O’Donnell, who picked up 35.5% of the vote.
State Senate District 25:
Democratic State Senator Carol Liu outpaced both her Republican challenger Gilbert Gonzales, and Democratic challenger Ameenah Fuller with 51.7% of the vote. Liu will be moving through to the general with GOP candidate Gonzales who received 42.9% of the votes cast.
State Senate District 27:
SD 27 is also among this year’s key races to watch for Independent voters. Voter registration numbers for the two major parties are fairly close, so “no party preference” voters who make up nearly 20% of the electorate will be the key to victory in November. GOP candidate Todd Zink received 50.6% of the vote and will face off against Democratic State Senator Fran Pavley who received 49.4% of the vote. Zink and Pavley are the only two candidates seeking to represent SD 27, and it looks to be a close race.
Senate District 29:
California Senate Republican Leader Bob Huff received 63.8% of the votes cast and will face his Democratic challenger Greg Diamond again in the general. Diamond picked up 36.2% of the vote.
Senate District 31:
This Riverside County Senate seat was among the most hotly contested in this year’s primary. Two Democratic candidates split the vote- allowing Republican Assemblyman Jeff Miller to come out on top with 51% of the votes cast. Miller will be on the general ballot along with Democrat Richard Roth who edged out his Democratic opponent Steve Clute with 28.8% of the vote to Clute’s 20.2%.
Senate District 33:
Democratic Assemblyman Ricardo Lara, who also currently chairs the California Latino Legislative Caucus, is running unopposed to represent SD 33.
Senate District 35:
Democratic State Senator Rod Wright came out on top with 57.9% of the total votes cast- far outpacing his GOP challenger Charlotte Svolos, and Democrat Paul Butterfield, who received 26.5% and 15.7% of the vote respectively. Both Wright and Svolos will be on the general election ballot.
Senate District 37:
Republican State Senator Mimi Walters received 63.1% of the votes cast, and will again face her Democratic challenger Steve Young come November. Young received 36.9% of yesterday’s vote. Walters and Young are the only two candidates seeking to represent SD 37.
Senate District 39:
Independent voters will want to keep close tabs on this particular race. Voter registration numbers between the two major parties are closely matched, at just under 7 percentage points. “No Party Preference” voters makeup over 26% of the electorate in this San Diego County seat, and will play a key role in deciding who wins this November. Democratic Assemblyman Marty Block and former Republican Assembly Leader George Plescia have both made it through to the general election with 46.2% and 43.9% of the vote respectively. It’s shaping up to be a tight race between the two.
Democratic candidate Patrick Marsh, who also sought to represent SD 39, was unable to place in the top two. Marsh received 10% of the total votes cast in yesterday’s primary.