California: Sec. of State Padilla Named
Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) announced that Democratic Secretary of State Alex Padilla will be named as Sen. Kamala Harris’ (D-CA) replacement upon her resigning to become Vice President of the United States.
Mr. Padilla was elected Secretary of State in 2014 and re-elected in 2018. Prior to his statewide service, Alex Padilla served in the California State Senate, and on the Los Angeles City Council, a body for which he was President. He will become California’s first Hispanic Senator, and the first individual from southern California to serve in the body since 1992.
CA-29: Another Try
Fresh from a November 57-43% defeat at the hands of Rep. Tony Cardenas (D-Pacoima/Los Angeles) in a double-Democratic general election, Human Resources executive Angelica Duenas (D) says she will make another run for the House in 2022. Ms. Duenas raised only $80,839 for her 2020 campaign, so her political apparatus must substantially improve if she is to become a serious intra-party challenger to the five-term Congressman.
CA-39: Re-Match Possible
Outgoing California Rep. Gil Cisneros (D-Yorba Linda) is already contemplating a re-match with Rep-Elect Young Kim (R) who defeated him in November. In public remarks, Mr. Cisneros said that “everything is on the table” for the future while acknowledging that he could run again in what is now an Orange, San Bernardino, and Los Angeles County district. Redistricting, of course, will play a large role for all potential incumbents and candidates, which adds even more uncertainty to the 2022 pre-candidate filing periods.
Ms. Kim won the 2020 race, 50.6 – 49.4%, after Mr. Cisneros was victorious in a 2018 open seat contest against her (51.5 – 48.5%). Already, defeated California Democratic Reps. Harley Rouda (D-Laguna Beach) and T.J. Cox (D-Fresno) have announced that they will run again in their respective districts two years from now.
CA-21: Potential Re-Match
Fresh from losing his congressional seat, freshman Rep. T.J. Cox (D-Fresno) said yesterday that he will run again in 2022. Mr. Cox lost to former US Rep. David Valadao (R-Hanford/Bakersfield) in November by 1,522 votes, or one full percentage point. In 2018, Mr. Cox unseated Rep. Valadao by 862 votes.
The two, however, are already not alone in the 2022 candidate field. Former state Assemblywoman Nicole Parra (D-Hanford), who served a stormy three-term stint in the legislature more than a decade ago when the term limits law only allowed her a six-year service period, has already announced that she will be a congressional candidate in the next election cycle. Ms. Parra was barred from her office for a period of time for refusing to support the Democratic leadership on certain legislative bills. She has several times endorsed Republican candidates since leaving office and accepted an appointment from then-Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R).
CA-21: Valadao Already Draws Opponent
Former US Rep. David Valadao (R-Hanford), fresh from ousting the man who defeated him in 2018, Rep. T.J. Cox (D-Fresno), and set to return to Congress has drawn a potential new opponent for 2022. Former state Assemblywoman Nicole Parra (D-Bakersfield) wasted no time in filing a 2022 congressional campaign committee with the Federal Election Commission, doing so yesterday.
Mr. Valadao scored a 50.5 – 49.5% re-match victory in November, a margin of 1,522 votes in a district that ranked the lowest in turnout (170,334 votes cast) of California’s 53 congressional seats.
CA-48: Re-Match Forming
California freshman Rep. Harley Rouda (D-Laguna Beach) is already taking steps to begin a re-match campaign with the woman who unseated him in November, Rep-Elect Michelle Steel (R). Yesterday, Mr. Rouda filed a 2022 congressional campaign committee and, while stopping short of committing to run in two years, was quoted as saying, "while one campaign ends today, another is just beginning. I look forward to having voters compare my opponent's two years in Congress with my accomplishments on November 8, 2022." Ms. Steel, an Orange County Supervisor, defeated Rep. Rouda, 51.1 – 48.9%, a difference of just under 8,400 votes.
Like all other congressional seats, the district boundaries will change in 2021 redistricting. Because it is a coastal seat, however, lying on the shores of the Pacific Ocean, the core of the 48th District is likely to remain intact.
DCCC: Rep. Maloney Wins Chairmanship
In a tight intra-party conference battle against California Rep. Tony Cardenas (D-Pacoima/Los Angeles) for Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee chair, New York Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney (D-Cold Spring/Peekskill) emerged victorious and will replace Rep. Cheri Bustos (D-IL) who did not seek a second term in the position in the wake of significant 2020 election losses. Rep. Maloney’s task is now to keep and expand a Democratic majority that could be as small as five seats in the face of political history that finds the party controlling the White House almost always losing House seats in a new President’s first midterm election.
CA-25: 333 Votes
After a long political overtime period that featured a very close count from beginning to end, California Rep. Mike Garcia (R-Santa Clarita) has been re-elected. With the final votes coming down to just a 333 vote spread between he and state Assemblywoman Christy Smith (D-Newhall), the contest was officially declared yesterday. Ms. Smith issued a statement of concession, but she has already filed a 2022 congressional campaign committee with the Federal Election Commission. Therefore, it is likely that we will see Round 3 between these two political contenders within two years. Rep. Garcia’s first win came in the May 2020 special election. His initial victory brandished a healthier 55-45% margin.
The Garcia victory means the Republicans now have 212 seats. The IA-2 certified vote that gave Republican Mariannette Miller-Meeks (R) a six-vote victory is going to be challenged in the courts, but for now the outcome is official.
Only one race remains outstanding, that in New York’s 22nd Congressional district, which features a 12-vote margin between Rep. Anthony Brindisi (D-Utica) and former Rep. Claudia Tenney (R). Provisional ballots remain, as do another 55 uncounted votes from one of the reporting counties.
CA-25: Real Clear Politics Declares
According to the Real Clear Politics electoral count, Rep. Mike Garcia (R-Santa Clarita) has defeated state Assemblywoman Christy Smith (D-Newhall). With 338,523 votes being tabulated, Mr. Garcia’s lead stands at 405 votes.
The number of remaining votes, and from where they are coming, appears not plentiful enough to overturn Rep. Garcia’s slight edge. Our rudimentary estimate suggests he will win the final vote count by approximately 375 votes. If this proves true, the Garcia seat would become the 211th for the GOP.
CA-25: Garcia Still Holding
The laborious post-election counting process continues in California’s lone contested House race, the 25th District contest between Rep. Mike Garcia (R-Santa Clarita) and state Assemblywoman Christy Smith (D-Newhall). For the past couple of days with no update counting totals being reported, Mr. Garcia’s lead stood at exactly 400 votes of 338,345 cast ballots.
With a new vote batch released last night, the Congressman’s lead has increased by five votes with approximately 2,700 votes awaiting signature verification and tabulation. If these trends continue, Rep. Garcia is estimated to win re-election by approximately 375 votes.
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