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Independent Poizner Looking To Make History in California

Author: Jeff Powers
Created: 07 June, 2018
Updated: 21 November, 2022
2 min read

Independent (NPP) candidate for Insurance Commissioner, Steve Poizner is looking to become the first independent to win statewide office.

Poizner was the top vote getter in the June 5th primary election, besting Democrat Senator Ricardo Lara.

The two have advanced to the November General election.

Poizner Wins Primary, Ready For November

Steve Poizner finished with 41% of the vote, Lara had 40%.

Poizner is the only candidate in the race who opposes the single-payer healthcare system. The majority of Californian's oppose the single-payer system if it requires raising taxes. Independent analyses put the cost of a statewide single-payer system at between $330 billion and $400 billion — far exceeding the state’s entire budget. Poizner's opponent authored the bill.

Poizner ran as an independent because he believes the office of insurance commissioner should be free of politics.

He attributed his showing to name recognition from past campaigns, his track record during his previous stint in the office and endorsements from all eight newspapers that weighed in on the race.

Poizner's campaign sent IVN San Diego the following statement, "It has become clear to many voters that the increasing partisan divide has caused the most critical issues that Californians face to be cast aside in favor of political gamesmanship and divisiveness. The historic nature of Steve Poizner's independent candidacy for Insurance Commissioner, and his 1st place finish in the primary, proves that voters of all parties will wholeheartedly support candidates whose focus is on non-partisan problem solving public service, and who have the overwhelming qualifications for the positions they are running for."

Senator Challenging Poizner

Senator Ricardo Lara announced his candidacy for Insurance Commissioner shortly after the Secretary of State published its ballot guide. Lara has been endorsed by Governor Jerry Brown, Sen. Kamala Harris and a number of Congressional men and women.

Lara's campaign sent us this statement following the election, "This election reflected a critical watershed moment. Throughout Senator Lara’s career, he has worked to advance compassionate, inclusive, and just policies that have moved California forward.  Steve Poizner, on the other hand, has embraced a scorched-earth record of Trump like policies that included attacking immigrant and vulnerable communities across California. As Insurance Commissioner, Senator Lara will move us forward by advancing California’s values. His opponent Steve Poizner’s will undoubtedly move us backwards.”

Senator Lara represents the 33rd District which encompasses Long Beach. He is Chair of Senate Appropriations Committee. Lara has been involved in at least two controversial bills.

Lara authored a bill that would have provided state-run health insurance, but it stalled in Sacramento when Governor Jerry Brown balked at the cost. Single-payer healthcare is a passionate issue for Gubernatorial candidate Gavin Newsom, who supports the effort. Voters can expect Lara to be in the middle of the debate during the campaign.

Lara is also the author of a new bill SB 174, that would amend state law allowing the appointment of any resident over the age of 18 to a civil office regardless of citizenship or immigration status.