Voter GuideState Assembly
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State Assembly

California’s larger, green-carpeted legislative body is cleaning house. All 80 state Assembly positions are open to aspiring lawmakers eager to represent their corner of the state for the next two years. 

Qualifications:

  • Immunity to decision fatigue required, as you will be casting as many as 3,000 votes a year 
  • Budgeting experience a plus: You will pass a state spending plan every year likely to exceed $200 billion
  • Commitment to lengthy and transparent policymaking, unless you get a spot on the powerful Appropriations Committee, where you’ll debate everything beforehand behind closed doors and then pass or kill all the bills at once
  • Humble enough to represent nearly 500,000 people (a population larger than Wyoming’s) and still possibly be unknown to anyone who isn’t a lobbyist, reporter or politics nerd

Compensation

$119,702 per year for rank-and-file members, $128,680 for second-ranking members of each party, $137,655 for the speaker and the minority party leader, plus a per diem of $211, as long as the Assembly meets once every three days (so say goodbye to three-day weekends).

Actual duties and responsibilities will vary depending on each applicant’s political party. Democratic applicants — whose party holds 60 of the 80 seats and is all but certain to maintain a commanding majority — should be prepared to craft important legislation. Republicans should be prepared to spend a lot of time criticizing Democrats and complaining about being frozen out of decisions.

About the hiring process:

Like much of the state’s labor market, the California Assembly experienced a “Great Resignation” this past year with 25 members of the Assembly taking a job elsewhere midway or announcing their retirement at the end of the current session. That’s a lot of turnover at a place known for its excellent job security

The Democratic Party’s lock on the Assembly isn’t in much doubt. But not all Democratic applicants are alike. They often disagree — about health care, housing, environmental regulation, taxes and labor law. With so many open positions in Democratic-leaning districts, expect unions, left-leaning activists and deep-pocketed business interests to aggressively push the Democrat of their choice. There’s also a lot at stake for Speaker Anthony Rendon. With the ongoing effort to replace him as leader of the Assembly, the speaker is hoping to fill as many seats as possible with friendly faces.

And though they’re destined to remain in the minority, don’t count out the GOP. When Democrats are divided, the addition or subtraction of a Republican or two can make the difference between a bill becoming law or dying on the Assembly floor.

While one Democrat and one Republican are running unopposed, nine write-in candidates made the Nov. 8 ballot.

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District 1

Safe Republican
Megan DahleIncumbent
Assemblywoman / Farmer / Businesswoman
Belle Starr Sandwith
Entrepreneur / Small Businesswoman

District 2

Safe Democratic
Charlotte Svolos
Special Education Teacher
Jim WoodIncumbent
California State Assemblymember

District 3

Safe Republican
James GallagherIncumbent
Assemblymember / Farmer, Businessman
David Leon Zink
Consultant / Community Organizer

District 4

Safe Democratic
Cecilia Aguiar-CurryIncumbent
State Assemblymember / Farmer
Bryan Pritchard
Winemaker / Business Owner

District 5

Safe Republican
Rebecca L. Chenoweth
Attorney / Coo
Joe Patterson
City Councilman / Businessman

District 6

Safe Democratic
Cathy Cook
Retired Airline Pilot
Kevin McCartyIncumbent
Assemblymember

District 7

Hot Race Leans Democratic
Ken CooleyIncumbent
California State Assemblyman
Josh Hoover
Board Member, Folsom Cordova Unified School District
More details

District 8

Safe Republican
Jim PattersonIncumbent
Assemblymember
Thomas Edward Nichols
No Ballot Designation

District 9

Safe Republican
Heath FloraIncumbent
Parent / Farmer / Assemblyman
Mushtaq Tahirkheli
Retired Machine Operator

District 10

Hot Race Safe Democratic
Eric Guerra
Councilmember / Legislative Director
Stephanie Nguyen
Councilmember, Nonprofit Director
More details

District 11

Safe Democratic
Jenny Leilani Callison
Consultant, Veterans Affairs
Lori D. Wilson
Mayor / Finance Director

District 12

Hot Race Safe Democratic
Sara Aminzadeh
California Coastal Commissioner
Damon Connolly
County Supervisor
More details

District 13

Safe Democratic
Veronica Andrea Vargas
Vice-Mayor / Business Owner
Carlos VillapuduaIncumbent
State Assemblymember / Businessman

District 14

Safe Democratic
Buffy WicksIncumbent
Assemblymember / Mom
Richard Kinney
No Ballot Designation

District 15

Safe Democratic
Tim GraysonIncumbent
Assemblymember / Business Owner
Jannell Elizabeth Proctor
Patient Health Advocate

District 16

Safe Democratic
Rebecca Bauer-KahanIncumbent
State Assemblymember / Mother
Joseph A. Rubay
Small Business Owner

District 17

Safe Democratic
David Campos
Criminal Justice Administrator
Matt Haney
Supervisor, City And County Of San Francisco

District 18

Safe Democratic
Mia BontaIncumbent
California State Assemblymember
Mindy Pechenuk
No Ballot Designation

District 19

Safe Democratic
Phil TingIncumbent
Assembly Budget Chair
Karsten Weide
Industry Analyst

District 20

Hot Race Safe Democratic
Shawn Kumagai
Councilmember / Navy Reservist
Liz Ortega
Labor Council Executive
More details

District 21

Safe Democratic
Giselle Hale
Mayor / Businesswoman / Mother
Diane Papan
San Mateo Deputy Mayor

District 22

Hot Race Toss Up
Juan Alanis
Stanislaus Sheriff Sergeant
Jessica Self
Attorney
More details

District 23

Safe Democratic
Marc BermanIncumbent
State Assemblymember
Tim Dec
Small Business Owner

District 24

Safe Democratic
Bob Brunton
Small Business Owner
Alex LeeIncumbent
State Assemblymember

District 25

Safe Democratic
Ash KalraIncumbent
Assemblymember
Ted Stroll
Retired Appellate Attorney

District 26

Safe Democratic
Tim Gorsulowsky
Business Security Consultant
Evan LowIncumbent
State Assemblymember

District 27

Hot Race Leans Democratic
Mark Nicholas Pazin
Retired Law Enforcement
Esmeralda Soria
City Councilwoman / Professor
More details

District 28

Safe Democratic
Liz Lawler
City Of Monte Sereno Council Member
Gail Pellerin
Retired County Clerk

District 29

Safe Democratic
Stephanie L. Castro
Educator / Mom
Robert A. RivasIncumbent
State Assemblymember

District 30

Safe Democratic
Dawn Addis
City Councilmember / Teacher
Vicki Nohrden
Non-Profit Director / Educator

District 31

Safe Democratic
Joaquin ArambulaIncumbent
Doctor / Assemblymember
Dolce Misol Calandra
Real Estate Agent

District 32

Safe Republican
Vince FongIncumbent
Central Valley Assemblymember

District 33

Safe Republican
Devon J. MathisIncumbent
State Assemblyman
Jose Sigala
Tulare City Councilmember

District 34

Hot Race Safe Republican
Tom LackeyIncumbent
High Desert Assemblyman
Thurston “Smitty” SmithIncumbent
Assemblyman / Small Businessman
More details

District 35

Hot Race Safe Democratic
Jasmeet Bains
Family Doctor / Physician
Leticia Perez
County Supervisor
More details

District 36

Safe Democratic
Eduardo GarciaIncumbent
California State Assemblymember
Ian M. Weeks
Certified Financial Planner

District 37

Safe Democratic
Gregg Hart
Santa Barbara County Supervisor
Mike Stoker
Small Businessman

District 38

Safe Democratic
Steve BennettIncumbent
State Assemblymember
Cole Brocato
Small Business Owner

District 39

Safe Democratic
Juan Carrillo
Councilmember, City Of Palmdale
Paul Andre Marsh
Community Services Liaison

District 40

Hot Race Leans Democratic
Pilar Schiavo
Nurses Advocate / Businessperson
Suzette Martinez ValladaresIncumbent
Assemblywoman / Educator
More details

District 41

Safe Democratic
Chris HoldenIncumbent
Assemblymember
Michael McMahon
No Ballot Designation

District 42

Safe Democratic
Jacqui IrwinIncumbent
State Assemblymember
Lori Mills
Businesswoman

District 43

Safe Democratic
Luz Maria RivasIncumbent
Assemblywoman / Science Educator
Siaka Massaquoi
Small Business Owner

District 44

Safe Democratic
Laura FriedmanIncumbent
Member Of The State Assembly
Barry Curtis Jacobsen
Business Owner

District 45

Safe Democratic
Joseph (Joe) W. Martinez
Governing Board Member, Rialto Unified School District
James C. RamosIncumbent
Assemblymember / Business Owner

District 46

Safe Democratic
Dana Caruso
Retired Assistant Principal
Jesse GabrielIncumbent
Member Of The California State Assembly

District 47

Hot Race Leans Democratic
Christy Holstege
City Councilwoman / Businesswoman
Greg Wallis
Assemblymember’S District Director
More details

District 48

Safe Democratic
Blanca RubioIncumbent
Assemblywoman / Teacher
Ryan Maye
No Ballot Designation

District 49

Safe Democratic
Burton Brink
Commissioner
Mike FongIncumbent
Member Of The State Assembly, 49Th District

District 50

Safe Democratic
Eloise Gomez ReyesIncumbent
Assemblymember / Businessman / Attorney
Sheela Stark
Attorney / Mother / Entrepreneur

District 51

Safe Democratic
Louis Abramson
Scientist / Community Organizer
Rick Chavez Zbur
Civil Rights Attorney

District 52

Safe Democratic
Wendy CarrilloIncumbent
Assemblymember
Mia Livas Porter
Environmental Advocate / Parent

District 53

Safe Democratic
Toni Holle
No Ballot Designation
Freddie RodriguezIncumbent
Assemblymember / First Responder

District 54

Safe Democratic
Miguel SantiagoIncumbent
Member Of The State Assembly
Elaine Alaniz
Crisis Responder/Filmmaker

District 55

Safe Democratic
Isaac G. BryanIncumbent
Assemblymember
Keith Girolamo Cascio
Software Developer

District 56

Safe Democratic
Lisa CalderonIncumbent
Member Of The Assembly
Jessica Martinez
City Of Whittier Councilmember

District 57

Safe Democratic
Reggie Jones-SawyerIncumbent
California State Assemblyman

District 58

Safe Democratic
Sabrina CervantesIncumbent
California State Assemblymember
Bernard William Murphy
Civil Engineer

District 59

Safe Republican
Phillip ChenIncumbent
Assemblyman / Business Owner
Leon Sit
College Engineering Student

District 60

Safe Democratic
Hector Diaz-Nava
Small Business Owner
Corey A. Jackson
Riverside County Board Of Education Member

District 61

Safe Democratic
Tina Simone McKinnor
Nonprofit Director / Businesswoman
Robert Pullen-Miles
Mayor

District 62

Safe Democratic
Maria Estrada
Accountant
Anthony RendonIncumbent
Assemblymember

District 63

Safe Republican
Bill Essayli
Attorney / Business Owner
Fauzia Rizvi
Businesswoman / Water Board Member

District 64

Safe Democratic
Raul Ortiz Jr.
Pest Control Manager
Blanca Pacheco
Downey Mayor / Businesswoman

District 65

Safe Democratic
Mike Anthony GipsonIncumbent
California State Assemblyman
Fatima Iqbal-Zubair
Public School Teacher

District 66

Safe Democratic
George Barks
Business Owner
Al MuratsuchiIncumbent
South Bay Assemblymember

District 67

Safe Democratic
Sharon D. Quirk-SilvaIncumbent
Assemblymember / Teacher
Soo Yoo
School Board President

District 68

Safe Democratic
Mike Tardif
Small Business Owner
Avelino Valencia
Councilmember / Assemblymember'S Deputy

District 69

Safe Democratic
Al Austin II
Long Beach Councilmember
Josh Lowenthal
Small Business Owner

District 70

Hot Race Leans Republican
Diedre Thu-Ha Nguyen
Cancer Researcher / Councilmember
Tri Ta
Mayor / Business Owner
More details

District 71

Safe Republican
Matt Rahn
Mayor / Educator / Businessman
Kate Sanchez
Businesswoman / Taxpayer Advocate

District 72

Leans Republican
Diane Dixon
City Council Member
Judie Mancuso
Nonprofit Executive / Businesswoman

District 73

Safe Democratic
Steven “Steve” ChoiIncumbent
Assemblyman / Educator / Businessman
Cottie Petrie-NorrisIncumbent
California State Assemblymember

District 74

Hot Race Toss Up
Laurie DaviesIncumbent
Assemblywoman / Businessowner
Chris Duncan
Mayor Pro Tem
More details

District 75

Safe Republican
Randy VoepelIncumbent
Assemblymember
Marie WaldronIncumbent
Business Owner / Assemblymember

District 76

Hot Race Leans Democratic
Kristie Bruce-Lane
Businesswoman / Water Advocate
Brian MaienscheinIncumbent
Assemblymember / Educator
More details

District 77

Safe Democratic
Tasha Boerner HorvathIncumbent
California State Assemblymember
Dan Downey
Ceo / Financial Advisor

District 78

Safe Democratic
Eric E. Gonzales
Retail Sales Associate
Chris WardIncumbent
Member Of The Assembly, Dist. 78

District 79

Safe Democratic
Corbin Sabol
Project Manager
Akilah WeberIncumbent
State Assemblymember / Doctor

District 80

Safe Democratic
David Alvarez
Small Business Owner
Georgette Gomez
Environmental Advocate / Businesswoman
Show All Districts