Monday, December 15, 2014

California Primary Results vs. General Election Results

In 2012, Democrats had a dramatic improvement between the primary election and the general election. This certainly gave Democrats a lot of confidence they’d have a similar improvement in 2014.

Statewide Races
We have no Top Two baseline to compare these races to since the last statewide races were in 2010 before Top Two. For purposes of comparison I included Secretary of State primary votes for Dan Schnur, a Republican turned NPP, in the Republican total. Not doing so would’ve resulted in a very low primary percentage for the GOP and the most dramatic increase for them as a result. The average primary margin was 11.4% and the average general election margin was 13.9%. So Democrats did a little bit better across the board, with their biggest gain coming in the Controller’s race.

District races
I broke down the comparisons into 8 groups. The first division was to separate legislative and congressional races to see if they had different results. Then I divided the races into 4 groups based on June results. These were races Republicans won by 20%+, Republicans won by 0-19%, Democrats won by 0-19%, and Democrats won by 20%+. You can see all the individual races that fell into each category here.

Races Republicans won by 20%+ in June were all won by Republicans, showing that the one race a Democrat took in 2012 was a fluke. Democrats did gain in these districts in 2014, but the gains were a lot smaller than 2012. Worth noting that while Republicans gained in none of these districts in 2012, they did gain in 24% of the legislative districts in 2014.

Districts where Republicans won by 19% or less were still very good bets for Democrats in 2014. They gained in almost all of them once again, although the rate was lower than in 2012 in legislative races. Like the previous group the amount they gained was much smaller. Because Democrats only gained an average of 6.9% in legislative races, they only won 50% in 2014, compared to 83% in 2012. The percentage of these races Democrats won congressionally actually ticked up slightly.

While it would appear that Republicans are good bets to win any general election they win the primary by 20% or more and to lose any that they win by less than that, it’s not as clear cut. Legislatively the two parties split the six races Republicans won by 20% or less, with the three the Republicans won coming after winning primary margins of 9.4%, 7.8%, and 1.0%. On a Congressional level the Democratic gains were more modest. Republicans lost these seats but in only one instance did a Democrat gain more 10%. For 2016, I’d say that a Republican winning by 20% or more is safe, by 10-20% is in good shape, and by 6-10% is in trouble, and by less than 6% the Democrat will win.

Districts Democrats won by 19% or less had dramatic increases in 2012 and again in 2014. Republicans gained in 63% of the congressional races. Democrats won all of these races in both years and figure to do so again in 2016.

Races that Democrats won 20%+ in the primary aren’t that important because a Democrat will win the general. Yet, for some unknown reason, Republicans did better in the general election than they did in the primary in most of them.

Democrats did have an improvement in 2014, just not as dramatic as 2012. The chief reason 2014 wasn’t as good as 2012 is probably because 2012 had a huge influx of Democrats between the primary and general while 2014 didn’t. That influx had a lot to do with online registration being added in September 2012. If there are no rules changes between the primary and general in 2016 I’d expect the relationship to be similar to 2014. Democrats win any race they win in the primary and any race that Republicans win by 5% or less. Republicans will win any race they win by 20% or more in the primary. Races that are between 5%-20% should be competitive.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

California Senate 2016

Speculation is running rampant that Senator Barbara Boxer will retire in 2016 rather than run for re-election. California statewide elections lately have been rather boring, so the interest is understandable. It'd also be the first California senate seat to open since 1992. There probably are a bunch of Democratic politicians that might've run for the office in 1998 or 2000 but who are too old now. Who would run? Who'd win?

Who'll run for Democrats?
No one has thrown their hat into the ring and there isn't anyone who is known to be circling. There are three relatively young Democrats who hold statewide office right now, Attorney General Kamala Harris, LG Gavin Newsom, and Treasurer John Chiang. Each has the advantage that they won't be up for re-election in 2016. So they'll have a free shot at the seat and be able to retain their current post. A lot of people are speculating at a Harris v. Newsom match-up, but John Chiang did better than either in the recent election and polls have shown him with better favorables than they have. Do these candidates want to be in the senate or are they interested in the governor's mansion? They surely won't all get in. Former Los Angeles mayor Antonio Villaraigosa is another possibility.

Los Angeles mayor Eric Garcetti has been mentioned as a possibility, but I doubt he'll run. Garrett has been in office less than two years and isn't that well known. He'd be an underdog agains those giants. The problem that comes in is what happens if he runs and loses. Carmen Trutanich is a cautionary tale. Trutanich pledged to serve two full terms as Los Angeles City Attorney if elected in 2009. In 2012 he decided to run for Los Angeles County District Attorney. His pledge was brought up. He lost the District Attorney race and then in 2013 lost re-election for City Attorney. The Los Angeles mayoral election will be in March 2017. So Garcetti would be asking people to vote for him for U.S. Senate at the same time that he'd have to start running for a second term as mayor. That wouldn't go over well with the public.

In a lot of states the natural transition is from the House of Representatives to the Senate. But no sitting congressman has run for statewide office since 2000 and no Democrat since 1998. The reason is that if a candidate wants to run statewide they have to give up their congressional seat. When you only represent 1/53 of the state you don't have high name recognition and probably don't have the network to raise enough money. I doubt we'll see any of them run.

Who'll run for Republicans? Will it matter?
The GOP didn't run strong candidates for senate in 2012 or for most statewide offices this year. Even those who had some strength, Pete Peterson and Ashley Swearengin, didn't raise a lot of money. So Republicans aren't likely to run a strong candidate in 2016. Even if they do, that candidate will lose. Unless it's former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. She has a chance to garner votes outside of the people who usually vote Republican.

Could we see Top Two with two Democrats? Two Republicans?
Possibly on either. It depends on the field. We can probably expect something like 53% Democrats 42% Republicans in the primary. If there are a lot of Democrats but only two Republicans it's conceivable we could see two Republicans finish Top Two. That almost happened in the California Controller's race this year. On the other hand, a bunch of Republican candidates could spread the vote over enough candidates to see two Democrats get in.

We're waiting on Senator Barbara Boxer now.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

California SD-7 special election

There'll be a special election in Contra Costa county centered SD-7 to replace Mark DeSaulnier, who won the CA-11 congressional seat. It's a D+10 district and one that a Democrat is almost certain to win in 2016. But specials are a different story here. Just last year Susan Shelley came within a point of winning a D+13 San Fernando Valley assembly district in a special election. This district covers some of the same area as AD-16, which is D+7. Republican Catherine Baker just won that. And specials are more low turnout than mid-terms. If Republican Mark Meuser wins that election other people will be surprised, but you won't.

California SD-25 special election

Because Republican Steve Knight will be in congress, there'll be a special election for his senate seat. Here are the candidates the Sac Bee lists as possible for the special:

Republican Dante Acosta, Santa Clarita councilman
Republican Sal Chavez, businessman
Republican Marvin Crist, Lancaster vice mayor
Republican Tim Donnelly, former assemblyman/businessman
Republican Sandra Johnson, Lancaster councilwoman
Republican John Kunak, former Castaic Area Town councilman
Republican Jim Ledford, Palmdale mayor
Republican R. Rex Parris, Lancaster mayor
Republican Sharon Runner, former assemblywoman and senator
Republican Eric Schmidt, Hesperia mayor pro tem
Republican Scott Wilk, assemblyman

Democrat Star Moffatt, legal office manager
Democrat Johnathon Ervin, senior engineer

This candidate list shows how deep a bench Republicans have, with a long list of elected officials. Democrats have an office manager and an engineer. SD-21 and CA-25 have virtually identical Brown 2010/Feinstein 2012 numbers. CA-25 has Simi Valley while SD-21 has some of San Bernardino county. The thin Democratic bench shows why Democrats will have a hard time finding a Knight challenger unless they carpetbag someone from Los Angeles over to the Antelope Valley.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

California Assembly and Senate Results

The story of the California congressional election was one of Republicans falling short or Democrats valiantly defending everywhere, depending on your perspective. The assembly and senate elections were a different story. In order to retain their supermajority Democrats couldn’t afford to lose more than one assembly and one senate seat. This threshold is mostly symbolic. A two thirds vote is only necessary to raise taxes or get referendums on the ballot. Jerry Brown has indicated he’d veto most tax increases and the Democratic caucus had too many moderates to go whole hog in on taxes. Whatever happened Democrats would still have big majorities.

The question is whether you’re moving forward or backward and parties want to be moving forward. Democrats had picked up 4 senate seats and 3 assembly seats in 2012 and wanted to protect those gains. One of those senate seats was gained because the redistricting commission had put an extra Democratic seat into the 2012 election. That came back at them in 2014 when an expiring San Francisco based seat was replaced with a Republican seat in Riverside county. That seat had two Republicans finish Top Two and was already lost.

While the California Republican party ignored the congressional and statewide races they went all in on the assembly races. The positive results showed. There were 48 assembly races that had a Republican taking on a Democrat in both 2012 and 2014. The average Republican gained 4.3% and the gap between Republicans and Democrats was closed by 8.6% overall.

Republicans gained most in safe Republican districts. Eight of the top 16 biggest gain were made in safe Republican districts. Three of the remaining 9 flipped from Democrats to the GOP.

2012 Presidential PVI: D+7
2014 margin: Republican +21.0%

This district covers a lot of the same area as Jim Costa’s CA-16 and shows you how difficult it is for Democrats down ballot in the Central Valley. We don’t have the final numbers in but Jerry Brown probably won the district by 15 points. In most places in America Republicans don’t even contend in a D+7 district, let alone win the district by 21 points. Democrats didn’t have anyone to run and didn’t invest any money in the race. The good news for Democrats is that Anthony Cannella is term limited in 2018, but if they don’t have anyone to run then either they won’t win the seat.

2012 Presidential PVI: D+7
2014 margin: Republican +8.2%

This district is just south of SD-12, also in the Central Valley, roughly in the same area as CA-21. Here the Democrats spent over $2.5 million and outside groups spent more. If you look at who was making the contributions to Luis Chavez’ campaign you can see one reason he did so poorly. He didn’t fundraise himself. Democrats just kept pouring money in to prop him up. Andy Vidak can run for re-election in 2018. I don’t know if the Democrats will have a credible candidate then either.

2012 Presidential PVI: D+14
2014 margin: Democrat +4.6%

If you want to see an example of Republican success you need to look no further than SD-32. Yes, the GOP lost this seat, but it was D+14! Democrats won similar seats this year by 18-20%. So what happened? The seat was open and Republicans were running Mario Guerra, the popular Latino mayor of Downey. Guera only spent about $300k of his own money but a Republican SuperPAC spent a little over $1 million. That doesn’t come close to matching what Democrats spent in SD-14, but it’s significantly more than usually gets spent by Republicans in the Gateway cities of Los Angeles county. If a good candidate and a little spending can get a Republican within 5% in a D+14 LA county district there is life in the Republican party.

2012 Presidential PVI: D+3
2014 margin: Republican +16.2%

This was a Democratic held seat, albeit one made more Republican friendly by redistricting. Democrats had a former assemblyman and poured a lot of money into this race. Republicans did too and the results showed.

Democrats certainly don’t need to make gains in California. They already dominate. That said, Orange County and the Central Valley are two places they are trying to make gains in. Barack Obama won there and Jerry Brown probably did too. This year’s results shouldn’t make them too optimistic.

Half of the state senate seats are up every two years. Democrats won only 11 of these 20. That the seats are so favorable to the GOP in the mid-term should make any Republican feel good. Democrats have 15 of the 20 districts up in 2016. In 2012 there were 5 races decided by 12% or less and Democrats have 4 of these districts. I don’t want to go into a preview so early but Republicans could make further gains then.

2012 Presidential PVI: D+1
2012 margin: Democrat +8.6%
2014 margin: Democrat +9.4%

It wasn’t all unicorns and rainbows for the California GOP. Republicans should be able to contest this suburban Sacramento district, mostly in CA-7, but have been beaten down both in 2012 and 2014. Ken Cooley looks fairly unbeatable.

2012 Presidential PVI: D+7
2012 margin: Democrat +18.4%
2014 margin: Republican +3.8%

If you want the best Republican story of the year it’s in this East Bay district. This isn’t the Central Valley. Here a D+7 district is supposed to produce a result like the one in 2012. Catherine Baker did poorly in the primary. Democrat Tim Sbranti, a good progressive, massively outspent Baker. Baker clearly ran a great campaign and it’s pretty clear that the moderates who supported Democrat Steve Glazer were turned off by Sbranti. I fully expect Baker to lose this district in 2016, but for now kudos on the triumph.

2012 Presidential PVI: D+5
2012 margin: Democrat +16.1%
2014 margin: Democrat +4.8%

Republicans did fail in this Central Valley seat, largely in SD-12 and CA-16, but there are some qualifications to make. Republican Jack Mobley got beat badly in 2012 and didn’t want to run again. The GOP failed to get a challenger for Democrat Adam Gray and had to coax Mobley to run as a write-in in the primary. Mobley’s heart clearly wasn’t in it and he was outspent by around $940k to $45k. Still, Gray would be a strong Democratic recruit should Jim Costa retire from congress or for the open SD-12 in 2018. The problem is that term limits were changed and Gray can be in the legislature until 2024. So he might not be so quick to leave.

2012 Presidential PVI: D+5
2012 margin: Democrat +5.6%
2014 margin: Democrat +6.2%

This seat, largely in CA-21 and SD-14, was one Republicans made a big push for and came up with a worse loss than in 2012. All this while David Valadao and Andy Vidak were winning up ballot. Rudy Salas certainly seems like a strong recruit to run against Valadao in 2016 or Vidak in 2018, but he also can serve in the assembly until 2024. I think you’ll see a lot less chamber hopping now that a legislator can serve all his years in a single chamber but congress will be attractive at some point for Salas. With a thin Democratic bench, I’m guessing he’s at the top of the DCCC’s list if Henry Perea doesn’t run.

2012 Presidential PVI: R+3
2012 margin: Democrat +0.1%
2014 margin: Republican +20.4%

This was the most unusual 2012 result. It was the only R+ PVI district Democrats won in 2012. They ran a former Republican because they had no bench. He managed to get a huge number of votes on the last day of counting to win. If the GOP didn’t retake this seat in 2014, they should’ve just folded up the tents. The landslide here is no surprise and I wouldn’t expect the district to be contended by Democrats in the future.

2012 Presidential PVI: D+2
2012 margin: Republican +0.8%
2014 margin: Republican +12.8%

The GOP made a big gain here and that’s certainly a positive considering an incumbent ran in 2012 and this was an open seat race. But Democrats never seriously contested the district. So Marc Steinorth actually did better in the general election than the primary. I don’t know if Democrats will go after the district in 2016, but they should.

2012 Presidential PVI: D+2
2012 margin: Republican +4.8%
2014 margin: Democrat +2.2%

Ventura county was loaded with disappointment for the GOP. Jeff Gorell abandoned this seat and he could’ve run for one more term. Not only did Gorell lose his congressional race, but the GOP nominated a polarizing candidate that cost them this seat. Republicans will look for a new candidate in 2016.

2012 Presidential PVI: D+13
2012 margin: Democrat +27.0%
2014 margin: Democrat +2.8%

It’d be nice to think that this LA county district could be competitive but this result is simply because the incumbent Ian Calderon has politician family members under indictment. Some who heard about those indictments probably assumed Calderon was too. Democrats may want a new candidate in 2016, but it’s possible there won’t be another scare for Calderon.

2012 Presidential PVI: D+1
2012 margin: Republican +3.6%
2014 margin: Republican +23.4%

This Corona based district should’ve been an opportunity for Democrats but the Democratic party’s candidate didn’t submit enough qualified signatures on his nomination forms and didn’t make the primary ballot. They did get him enough signatures to run as a write-in, but he lost to another Democratic write in who didn’t run a campaign. Democrats should try harder in 2016.

2012 Presidential PVI: D+1
2012 margin: Democrat +4.0%
2014 margin: Republican +9.2%

Democrats had never won any Orange County election in a district that wasn’t majority Hispanic, so the 2012 result was a shocker. Democrats were unlikely to hold the district, but they were so hungry to retain it that they funneled $3.4 million into Sharon Quirk-Silva’s campaign account. Yes, in an assembly race. Republican Young Kim was outspent 2 to 1, but still managed to recapture the district. Democrats have better opportunities for 2016, but I doubt they’ll give up after spending this much this year.

2012 Presidential PVI: D+4
2012 margin: Democrat +9.6%
2014 margin: Republican +0.6%

This didn’t look like a win for the GOP. Barack Obama and Assemblyman Al Muratsuchi did better than expected in 2012. Republican David Hadley was underwhelming in winning the primary by 1% and he was outspent more than 2 to 1. It didn’t look like a district Republicans would get. Yet Hadley made Muratsuchi the third Democratic incumbent to lose. (Note: Republicans hadn’t beaten one since 1994.) This is a major opportunity for Democrats in 2016.

While Republicans did better in congressional races those results were full of disappointment. The GOP made strong gains in the assembly and senate races. They did leave a few districts on the table, something you don't want to happen in a strong Republican year, but the question going in was whether the Republican party was dead. That's clearly not the case.

Monday, December 1, 2014

California Congressional Recap

By now you’re certainly aware that there were 8 congressional races in California decided by 5% or less and that Democrats won all 8. They also won all 9 that were 8% or less. Overall, the GOP averaged gaining 3.2% in all races, cutting the margin by an average of 6.4%. Only 3 of those 9 had the 2012 margins cut by 3.2% or more. Had the drop been uniform, the GOP would’ve won more seats.

Republicans were most hurt because they ran mediocre candidates and didn’t spend much money. The CAGOP was no help in the Federal races. They concentrated on assembly and senate races and left the congressional elections to Kevin McCarthy and the NRCC. The NRCC paid attention ton four races, CA-7, 26, 36, and 52, although they quickly lost interest in CA-36. CA-7, 26, and 52 were three of the four closest. We’re left to wonder what would’ve happened in CA-3, 9, 16, 24, and 31 if they’d bothered to recruit and/or put money in.

All margins are linked here. Here are the biggest margin gains from 2012 to 2014:

CA-39: +21.4% (Republican win goes from 15.6% to 37.0%)
CA-22: +20.4% (Republican win goes from 23.8% to 44.2%)
CA-16: +13.4% (Democratic win goes from 14.8% to 1.4%)
CA-45: +13.4% (Republican win goes from 17.0% to 30.2%)
CA-32: +12.0% (Democratic win goes from 31.4% to 19.4%)
CA-42: +10.2% (Republican win goes from 21.2% to 31.4%)
CA-27: +9.2% (Democratic win goes from 28.0% to 18.6%)
CA-46: +8.4% (Democratic win goes from 27.8% to 19.4%)

Here are the ones that were most competitive in 2014 and a couple that are expected to be competitive in 2016.

2012 Presidential PVI: D+4
2012 margin: Democrat +8.4%
2014 margin: Democrat +5.2%

The NRCC and outside Republican groups didn’t do anything to help Dan Logue. Logue put $785k of his own money into the race and ended up outspending incumbent Democrat John Garamendi, who is a weak fundraiser. The improvement was about average for a Republican nationwide. It’s possible a better Republican effort might’ve put this district in the GOP column but it’s not a good opportunity for 2016.

2012 Presidential PVI: Even
2012 margin: Democrat +3.4%
2014 margin: Democrat +0.8%

There was a ton of spending in this district by both candidates and outside groups. Doug Ose improved on Dan Lungren, but not enough to win. If he’d done what the average Republican improved nationwide, the race would’ve been even. This is a district the GOP may try again with in 2016.

2012 Presidential PVI: D+7
2012 margin: Democrat +11.2%
2014 margin: Democrat +4.8%

Tony Amador got no outside help and he was outspent through October 15, 16 to 1. Considering that Jerry McNerney had cash on hand at that time and Amador had little that ratio was likely greater. It’s unusual for a Republican to finish this close in a D+7 district, especially when he’s unknown and spends no money. If a race can dispel the myth that spending decides elections, this is it. You have to wonder what might’ve happened here if the GOP made any effort, but I doubt we’ll find out in 2016.

2012 Presidential PVI: Even
2012 margin: Republican +5.4%
2014 margin: Republican +12.2%

While Democratic outside groups didn’t spend here, the Democratic challenger actually spent about the same amount of money that incumbents John Garamendi and Jerry McNerney spent in their races. So it’s not like Republican spending in CA-9. Jeff Denham acquitted himself well here, but if Democrats get a serious candidate here in 2016 they could make the district competitive.

2012 Presidential PVI: D+8
2012 margin: Democrat +14.8%
2014 margin: Democrat +1.4%

Republicans don’t usually challenge in D+8 districts and the 2012 margin should’ve been enough to convince anyone this district wouldn’t be competitive. I can toot my own horn because I predicted it would be. Johnny Tacherra didn’t raise a lot of money, although I can say I gave him a little bit. He was outspent more than 3 to 1 through October 15, but that was likely larger since Tacherra was out of money and Democrat Jim Costa had quite a bit of cash on hand left. We could see district be competitive in 2016 if Republicans recruit someone like State Senator Anthony Cannella. Cannella won the state senate district covering this congressional district by by 21%.

2012 Presidential PVI: D+4
2012 margin: Republican +15.6%
2014 margin: Republican +15.6%

This was the only congressional district in America where both parties ran a candidate and the result was exactly the same in 2014. David Valadao didn’t improve his 2012 performance, but his 2012 opponent was an unfunded nobody and his 2014 opponent actually spent more than $1.3 million. Democrats may target the district in 2016, although they’ll need a good candidate to make it competitive and Democrats have no bench here.

2012 Presidential PVI: D+4
2012 margin: Democrat +10.2%
2014 margin: Democrat +3.8%

This is another district that people didn’t think would be competitive and the Republican party didn’t bother with as a result. Republican Chris Mitchum was mostly tapped out by the primary. So while the FEC shows he was outspent 6 to 1, it was likely dramatically more than that in the general election. Lois Capps will be 78 in 2016 and may retire. If she does, the NRCC might actually pay attention after missing the opportunity this year.

2012 Presidential PVI: D+3
2012 margin: Democrat +5.4%
2014 margin: Democrat +2.6%

The Republican party had an inkling this district could be competitive but outside Democratic groups greatly outspent outside Republican groups. The GOP ran their best two candidates in 2012 and 2014 but they may try again in 2016.

2012 Presidential PVI: D+7
2012 margin: No Democrat was in Top Two
2014 margin: Democrat +3.4%

This district had two Republicans running against each other in 2012. Considering how well President Obama did in 2012, Republicans ignored it in 2014. Democratic outside groups didn’t and invested heavily. You have to wonder what would’ve happened if Republicans showed any interest. I doubt they will in 2016.

2012 Presidential PVI: Even
2012 margin: Democrat +5.8%
2014 margin: Democrat +8.4%

On paper this district looked attractive for the GOP. They soured on Brian Nestande early and put little money behind him. Democratic outside groups still spent, as did prolific fundraiser Raul Ruiz. The effort showed in the Democratic improvement over 2012. While Nestande certainly disappointed, there were 50 other congressional districts nationwide Democrats also did better in this year. I doubt Republicans will bother in 2016.

2012 Presidential PVI: D+1
2012 margin: Democrat +2.4%
2014 margin: Democrat +3.2%

Republicans went hard after this district. The party’s failure has been laid at challenger Carl DeMaio’s feet and DeMaio likely shares some of the blame for the loss. We don’t know how much the Tea Party and Focus on the Family getting behind Peters hurt DeMaio, however. I doubt Republicans will put nearly the effort in here in 2016 after failing with their star recruit.

Republicans had some surprisingly strong performances in California, especially when you consider they were massively outspent in many of the districts. Despite the closeness of those races, I doubt the GOP will work hard to recruit or invest much money in challengers in 2016. They’ll have a lot of districts to play defense in and will probably think that any district they couldn’t win this year will be one they won’t win in a Presidential year.

There’s likely to be no shortage of Republican challengers in Sacramento for CA-7 or San Diego for CA-52, even if Bera and Peters look battle tested. And the Riverside county Republican bench is pretty deep for CA-36, with former assemblywoman Bonnie Garcia losing a state senate race to a fellow Republican. The Republican bench in Ventura county is thinner since Tony Strickland and Jeff Gorell lost in 2012 and 2014, but there’s likely to be a challenger. Since the GOP ignored the rest of the districts in 2014, I doubt they’ll try in 2016.

The Democrats, on the other hand, didn’t bother to challenge Republicans in any district except CA-31. Look for them to go hard after CA-10, 21, and 25. The problem for them is they have little to no bench in Modesto, Fresno, and the Antelope Valley. They are likely carpetbag candidates if they need to. They have several possibilities from nearby Stockton who could challenge Denham. The list to go after Valadao is pretty thin. They’ll want Assemblyman Henry Perea but I think he runs for mayor of Fresno.

Look for Democrats to run Fran Pavley against Steve Knight in CA-25. Pavley was mayor of Agoura Hills, which is in CA-33. She’ll be a termed out state senator. While she’s from outside the district, her state senate seat does cover the Ventura county part of the district and a little of LA county too. Of course asking a Democrat to try to run up the score in very Republican Simi Valley is counter-intuitive. But the Democrats don’t really have Antelope Valley candidates where more of their voters are.