Monday, March 10, 2014

California Filing Closes - The Statewide Races

The California filing deadline was Friday. Unfortunately the secretary of state won't list all of the candidates for some time. This means checking out individual county sites. Some of the county sites have complete information and others are more ambiguous. San Francisco, Sacramento, and Kern counties don't appear to list them at all. So it's difficult to determine who has and who hasn't filed.

Akinyemi Agbede, Democratic
Charlie Hodge, Democratic
Hanala Sagal, Democratic
Geby E. Espinosa, Democratic
Jerry Brown, Democratic
Kwame Boateng, Democratic
Melissa Balin, Democratic
John-Leslie Brown, Republican
Neel Kashkari, Republican
Tim Donnelly, Republican
Glenn Champ, Republican
S. Deacon Alexander, Green
Luis J. Rodriguez, Green
Cindy L. Sheehan, P And F
Robert Ornelas, AI
Andrew Blount, NPP
Christian Kumar
Janel Hyeshia Buycks, NPP
Joe Leicht, NPP
Robert Newman, NPP

Yes, that's 20 candidates for governor. There may be more in the counties I didn't get. I have no idea how they'll list all of them on one page. While the Democratic slate is filled with unknowns, they'll likely get enough votes to hold Jerry Brown under 40% in the primary. I don't think he'll finish 2nd, although there are less candidates on the Republican side. Even if a Republican catches fire, the ceiling for him would probably be 35%.

Attorney General:
Kamala Harris, Democratic
John Haggerty, Republican
Orly Taitz, NPP
Ronald Gold, NPP
Jonathan Jaech, Lib

It doesn't appear that Kamala Harris has much competition for attorney general, with the most notable opponent being birther Orly Taitz. While Taitz is well known, she certainly hasn't been popular with voters. She finished a distant second in the 2010 Republican Secretary of State primary and managed a whole 3% in the 2012 Senatorial jungle primary. Notably absent is former Republican State Senator Phil Wyman. He doesn't appear to have filed.

Lieutenant Governor:
Gavin Newsom, Democratic
Eric Korevaar, Democratic
Ron Nehring, Republican
George Yang, Republican
David Fennell, Republican
Amos Johnson, P And F
Alan Reynolds, Amer Elect
Zachary Collins, NPP
Jena F. Goodman

No surprises here. The GOP's best candidate former party chairman Ron Nehring will have to compete with other Republicans for top two.

Ashley Swearengin, Republican
John A. PĂ©rez, Democratic
Laura Wells, Green
Tammy D. Blair, Democratic
Betty Yee, Democratic

I don't know how serious a campaign Swearengin will run but if she runs a serious campaign she has a chance to win in November. She won't be running against an incumbent. Democratic incumbents are impossible to beat here but open seat races can be won by Republicans. She'll be running against a Democrat with a decent profile, but who isn't well known statewide. I'd guess that Betty Yee isn't well known outside the Bay area and that John Perez isn't even that well known in Los Angeles. I pay attention and wouldn't know where his district is without looking it up.

Swearengin is coming from the Central Valley, an area with a big Democratic registration advantage, and one that voted heavily for Obama. But it supports Republicans down ticket. In 2008 she defeated now-Assemblymember Henry Perea for mayor by a margin of 12,000 votes, while Obama was beating McCain by 21,000. Perea is now considered the Democrats best Central Valley hope to beat David Valadao in 2016.

Swearengin will make top two without spending a dime. If she does a little work, the primary electorate could even give her 50%. In 2010 the two Republicans pretty much equaled popular incumbent John Chiang's vote total. The primary should deplete the Democrats' bank accounts. So while Swearingin is behind on fundraising now, she'll start the general election on equal footing. Swearengin is certainly an underdog for November. That electorate will likely give the average statewide Democrat 57-58% of the vote. Yet if you're betting one race will be tight it could be this one.

The Republican party appears to not have fielded a candidate to run against Controller John Chiang in his campaign for state Treasurer. Green candidate Ellen H. Brown appears to be his only competition. Chiang is shoe in to win the election no matter who runs, but having only a Green candidate as an alternative doesn't present much of a choice for Republicans. Democratic Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones is being challenged by Republican state senator Ted Gaines and Peace and Freedom candidate Nathalie Hrizi.

Secretary Of State:
Leland Yee, Democratic
Jeffrey Drobman, Democratic
Alex Padilla, Democratic
Pete Peterson, Republican
Jose E. Castaneda, Lib
David Scott Curtis
Dan Schnur, NPP

I've written about the Secretary of State election, so there's nothing to add right now.

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