State Assembly

Hot Races

The general election for the California Assembly will take place on Nov. 8, 2022. Voters in each of the 80 districts will elect one Assemblymember to represent them.

Loading the hot races for Assembly…

Show All Districts

District 7

The district

This district encompasses the suburbs surrounding Sacramento, following the American River from Citrus Heights east towards Folsom and south towards Sloughhouse. 

Voter registration: 37.9% Democratic, 32.7% Republican, 21.2% no party preference

The scoop

Primary results: Ken Cooley 50.9%, Josh Hoover 34.0%

Races in this part of Sacramento County have been relatively close recently between the two parties: In 2020, about 52% of voters went for Democrat Joe Biden, while 46% voted for Republican Donald Trump. The area narrowly voted in favor of recalling Gov. Gavin Newsom last year. 

Post-redistricting, Democratic registration dropped by 6 percentage points, which means incumbent Cooley could face an uphill battle, though he did win more than half the vote in a five-candidate primary. His challenger is Republican Hoover, who has earned name recognition among the GOP as chief of staff to Assemblymember Kevin Kiley, who ran in the recall last year and who is now getting some national attention in his bid for Congress. Hoover is also a board member in the Folsom Cordova Unified School District.

During the primary, Cooley took out ads warning voters about Jeff Perrine, a member of the Proud Boys white nationalist group – a move that some called an attempt by Cooley to lift Perrine into second place for an easier win in the fall. 

Applicants

  • Democratic
  • Republican
  • American Independent
  • Green
  • Libertarian
  • Peace & Freedom
  • No Party
Loading campaign finance data…

CalMatters is nonpartisan and nonprofit.

We are dedicated to keeping Californians informed on critical state news. We can’t do that without support from people like you.

Key Endorsements

Ken Cooley

  • California Democratic Party

Josh Hoover

  • Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association PAC

District 10

The district

This is a safe Democratic district that’s somewhat split between the city and the suburbs: about 39% of the district’s population lives in Sacramento, while the rest is in Elk Grove, Vineyard, Florin and Parkway. 

Voter registration: Democratic 51.3%, no party preference 22.6%, Republican 19.3%

The scoop

Primary results: Stephanie Nguyen 29.9%, Eric Guerra, 29.4%

With incumbent Jim Cooper vacating the seat for a successful run for Sacramento County sheriff, this race pits two Democrats against each other: Nguyen, an Elk Grove City Council member, and Guerra, a Sacramento City Council member. Nguyen edged out Guerra as the top vote-getter in the June 7 primary. Eric Rigard, the lone Republican among the five candidates, finished a close third. He died on June 21 while the votes were still being counted. 

Guerra, a former neighborhood leader, has the backing of a broad coalition that spans labor groups as well as Realtors. He’s running on a platform of improving education and housing affordability. Nguyen, who is a nonprofit director, has been endorsed by moderates including Cooper, but also more progressive Assemblymember Kevin McCarty, also a former Sacramento council member. Her pitch: Boosting the economic recovery.

Ads and mailers attacking Guerra during the primary framed the race as the suburbs versus the city, including one that stated: “We don’t need Sacramento politicians representing Elk Grove.” 

Adding to the heat in this race is lots of outside spending. An independent expenditure committee funded by the California Association of Realtors and the California Apartment Association has put in more than $2 million to help Guerra, though the California Realtors Association also contributed to Nguyen’s campaign.  

Some of Nguyen’s largest contributors include the Asian Pacific Islander Leadership PAC, Leaders for California Recovery (an independent expenditure committee funded by Assemblymember Evan Low, who represents part of Silicon Valley), and the California Asian Chamber of Commerce’s political action committee. 

Applicants

  • Democratic
  • Republican
  • American Independent
  • Green
  • Libertarian
  • Peace & Freedom
  • No Party
Loading campaign finance data…

Key Endorsements

Eric Guerra

  • United Farm Workers
  • California Democratic Party
  • U.S. Sen. Alex Padilla

Stephanie Nguyen

  • U.S. Rep. Ami Bera
  • State Treasurer Fiona Ma
  • Lt. Gov. Eleni Kounalakis
  • Assemblymember Ash Kalra
  • Assemblymember Jim Cooper

District 12

The district

From the Golden Gate to Santa Rosa, this district includes all of Marin County, with a sliver of southern Sonoma County thrown in for good measure. Few districts are as reliably Democratic. But given the blend of affluent enclaves, aging hippy homeowners, dairy ranchers and segregated working-class cities, Democrats come in different flavors.

Voter registration: 59.4% Democratic, 14.8% Republican, 19.9% no party preference

The scoop

Primary results: Damon Connolly 37.1%, Sara Aminzadeh 36.2%

When Assemblymember Marc Levine announced his (ultimately unsuccessful) bid for state insurance commissioner, he left an empty seat in one of the bluest corners of the state. A four-way Democratic free-for-all in the primary left two liberal candidates, with very similar policy views but distinct resumes, facing off in November.

Aminzadeh, a lawyer and longtime clean water advocate who sits on the state’s coastal commission, is new to the district (she lives in tony Kentfield) and is running on her environmental policy cred and as a new mom who wants to see more women in the Legislature. Despite her lack of elected experience, she has cobbled together a cadre of friends in high places — U.S. Rep. Jared Huffman, Lt. Gov. Eleni Kounalakis and Senate President Pro Tem Toni Atkins, among them. 

That probably came as a shock to Connolly, a Marin County supervisor with a long record of local elected experience. He’s a former San Rafael city councilmember, a school board trustee and a lawyer with the California Department of Justice. He also has closer ties to the state party’s traditional power base, organized labor. In his corner: the California Labor Federation and the California Teachers Association.

Not that Aminzadeh is anti-labor, or that Connolly is a climate change denier. Both are Marin County progressives, and there’s relatively little daylight between the two on policy. What distinguishes them most is style and emphasis, with Aminzadeh running as an environment-focused newcomer and Connolly leading with his policymaking experience.

Note from H.R.: In 2019, Connolly pleaded guilty to a drunk driving charge after he crashed into a stop sign and then left the scene.

Applicants

  • Democratic
  • Republican
  • American Independent
  • Green
  • Libertarian
  • Peace & Freedom
  • No Party
Loading campaign finance data…

Key Endorsements

Sara Aminzadeh

  • Lt. Gov. Eleni Kounalakis
  • Sen. Scott Wiener
  • U.S. Rep. Jared Huffman
  • California Nurses Association
  • California Environmental Voters
  • Equality California

Damon Connolly

  • California Teachers Association
  • Former California Democratic Party chairman John Burton
  • State Treasurer Fiona Ma
  • State Sen. Dave Cortese
  • California Labor Federation
  • California Professional Firefighters
  • State schools Supt. Tony Thurmond

District 20

The district

South of Oakland and north of Fremont, this district gathers up the working- and middle-class towns of Hayward, San Leandro and Castro Valley before bounding over the hills and grabbing a small chunk of Dublin. Home to some of the Bay Area’s largest immigrant communities, this district is the third most ethnically diverse in the state.

Voter registration: 56.7% Democratic, 13.2% Republican, 25.2% no party preference

The scoop

Primary results: Liz Ortega, 32.2%, Shawn Kumagai 23.9%

When Assemblymember Bill Quirk announced he wouldn’t be seeking reelection, Ortega struck many political watchers as an obvious successor. Leader of the Alameda Labor Council, an umbrella group for more than 100 Bay Area unions, she has plenty of ready-made connections within the mainstream of the California Democratic Party and a small army of door-knocking, rally-attending supporters in her Rolodex. Hence her endorsement by Quirk, along with a phalanx of other union-friendly heavyweights, including former Assemblymember Lorena Gonzalez, the new president of the California Labor Federation.

While Ortega hails from one side of the district (San Leandro) and one wing of the party (labor), Kumagai represents the other side of both. A Dublin city councilmember and a gay Navy vet, he used to be district director to San Ramon Assemblymember Rebecca Bauer-Kahan, among the more politically moderate Bay Area legislators. And as someone who currently represents one of the region’s more conservative towns, his resume gives him some trans-ideological cred. The son of Japanese immigrants, he was also the only Asian candidate in the four-candidate primary in a district where Asian Americans make up the largest ethnic group. 

With organized labor squarely backing Ortega, Kumagai’s base of support is a jumble of labor-skeptical moderates, business interests, LGBTQ and Asian civil rights advocates and “Yes In My Backyard” housing advocates. Still, this has all the makings of a California political classic: A massively expensive Democratic district that serves as a proxy battle between unions and business.

Applicants

  • Democratic
  • Republican
  • American Independent
  • Green
  • Libertarian
  • Peace & Freedom
  • No Party
Loading campaign finance data…

Key Endorsements

Shawn Kumagai

Liz Ortega

  • Attorney General Rob Bonta
  • California Labor Federation
  • Sierra Club California
  • California Teachers Association
  • California Democratic Party
  • California Environmental Justice Alliance

District 22

The district

A band of Central Valley running across Stanislaus County from the Diablo Range to the Sierra foothills, this district is anchored around Modesto, pulling in the many ag towns and commuter exurbs to the south. It’s also one of the state’s true swing Assembly districts. 

Voter registration: 40.4% Democratic, 32.8% Republican, 19.3% no party preference

The scoop

Primary results: Juan Alanis 36.5%, Jessica Self 27.0%

When the Citizens Redistricting Commission redrew California’s electoral maps, it didn’t include an incumbent in this district. That’s created a rare, wide open seat that both Democrats and Republicans have a real shot at winning. 

You’d think that would translate into a ferociously competitive race, but the primary was a pretty sleepy affair. On the Democratic side, Self — a public defender and a regular in local Democratic circles — fended off moderate Democrat Chad Condit for her place on the November ballot. Republican deputy sheriff Alanis, leaning into his long career in law enforcement, easily locked up the right-of-center vote.

Neither Self nor Alanis have elected experience and so don’t have specific policy-making decisions to defend. Though Alanis briefly ran to be county sheriff, neither he nor Self are likely to have much name ID outside their respective professional circles. Neither occupy the ideological extremes, but stress their bipartisan instincts and run with the full support of their respective parties. 

You’ve heard of the “generic ballot,” where voters are asked whether they prefer, in the abstract, a Republican or a Democrat? In a district where Democrats narrowly outnumber Republicans, but where GOP candidates earned more votes combined in the primary, this is California’s generic ballot race. And it’s likely to be a close one.

Applicants

  • Democratic
  • Republican
  • American Independent
  • Green
  • Libertarian
  • Peace & Freedom
  • No Party
Loading campaign finance data…

Key Endorsements

Juan Alanis

  • Stanislaus County Deputy Sheriffs’ Association
  • California Correctional Peace Officers Association
  • Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association

Jessica Self

  • California Democratic Party
  • California Labor Federation
  • Equality California

District 27

The district

Bracketed by I-5 to the west and Highway 99 to the east, this is a majority Latino district with most of its voters split between Merced, Madera and northwest Fresno, its industry dominated by agriculture and oil and its politics leaning Democratic.

Voter registration: 43.1% Democratic, 27.2% Republican, 22.6% no party preference

The scoop

Primary results: Esmerelda Soria 40.1%, Mark Pazin 35.0%

With Assemblymember Adam Gray running for Congress, the Legislature is losing one of its most reliably business-friendly Democrats. 

Soria, a Fresno city council member, is hoping to take Gray’s place, but she’s a different kind of Democrat. She ran unsuccessfully as a progressive alternative to centrist “Blue Dog” U.S. Rep. Jim Costa in 2020. This time around, she’s taking a slightly more ecumenical tone, which has earned her the support of unions, progressive groups and moderates alike. 

Though fellow Democratic Fresno council member Mike Karbassi tried to make it past the primary by running in the Adam Gray moderate mold, Soria dominated the Democratic field in June. A mailer from the Soria camp, which incorrectly suggested that Karbassi was found guilty of battery probably didn’t help his campaign, as evidenced by the lawsuit he filed against her

Pazin, a former Merced County sheriff, is running as a staunch conservative “taking the fight to Sacramento liberals.” He has the endorsement of virtually every elected Republican in Sacramento. But as an appointee of Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown to the Office of Emergency Services who served under Gov. Gavin Newsom, he does have some experience working with Sacramento liberals, too.

Another complicating factor: TJ Cox. In August, the former one-term Democratic member of Congress was charged with 28 counts of fraud. One of Cox’s alleged crimes is that he lied to lenders to obtain a loan for a local sports complex while sitting on the board of an affiliated foundation. One of Cox’s fellow board members at the time was Terance Frazier, Soria’s husband. Frazier told the Fresno Bee that the indictment is a vindication for everyone who works at the complex. But that hasn’t stopped the Pazin campaign from doing everything possible to paint Soria with the stench of the Cox scandal.

Applicants

  • Democratic
  • Republican
  • American Independent
  • Green
  • Libertarian
  • Peace & Freedom
  • No Party
Loading campaign finance data…

Key Endorsements

Mark Pazin

  • California State Sheriff’s Association
  • Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association PAC
  • Assemblymember Jim Patterson
  • State Sen. Shannon Grove

Esmeralda Soria

  • California Democratic Party
  • Equality California
  • SEIU California
  • California Labor Federation

District 34

The district

From the San Andreas Fault to the Nevada border, this district takes in almost the entirety of California’s high desert. Portions of Palmdale, Lancaster and Victorville — the region’s most multiethnic and Los Angeles-connected towns — were placed into their own Latino-majority district, leaving this one dominated by San Bernardino County, more rural and more conservative. 

Voter registration: 39.3% Republican, 31.5% Democratic, 20.1% no party preference

The scoop

Primary results: Thurston “Smitty” Smith 31.1%, Tom Lackey 29.7%

The problem with having an independent redistricting commission is that sometimes it really does act independently. Just ask Republican Assemblymembers Lackey and Smith, both residents of this new district. Neither moved, so voters will have to pick their preferred incumbent in November. 

Lackey, who started his career as a special education teacher before joining the California Highway Patrol, has been in the Assembly since 2014 and has developed a reputation as a true moderate, in line with his L.A. County-centered district. Smith is a former concrete company owner who has served as mayor of Hesperia in the district’s more populous San Bernardino County side. The chosen successor of Jay Obernolte when he left the Assembly for this region’s congressional seat, Smith is newer to the Capitol and has been the surer conservative vote in Sacramento.

The logic of California’s top-two primary would seem to favor Lackey. Even in this solidly Republican district (Trump beat Biden by 15 percentage points in 2020; in 2018, Newsom lost to Republican John Cox by 25 points), 40% of the primary electorate voted for the two unsuccessful Democrats. Assuming at least some of those Democrats hold their nose and vote for a Republican in November, the more middle of the road Lackey seems the more likely choice. Lackey has also been in Sacramento longer and has the fruitful relationships to prove it: Both the state Realtors and the state prison guards union have spent big to support Lackey, who has the endorsements of Republican U.S. House leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy and state Senate GOP leader Scott Wilk.

But Smith has closer geographic ties to the district. Redistricting stripped Lackey of much of his voter base in Los Angeles County. Born and raised in Hesperia where he went on to serve in various local government positions, he may be the better known name in San Bernardino County, where 60% of the district’s voters reside.

Applicants

  • Democratic
  • Republican
  • American Independent
  • Green
  • Libertarian
  • Peace & Freedom
  • No Party
Loading campaign finance data…

Key Endorsements

Tom Lackey

  • Rep. Kevin McCarthy
  • California Association of Highway Patrolmen

Thurston ‘Smitty’ Smith

  • Rep. Jay Obernolte
  • Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association

District 35

The district

This Central California district covers the majority of Kern County, from Lost Hills in the north to Arvin in the south, and includes parts of the city of Bakersfield. The area is home to a considerable Latino population. The district, with its largely agriculture-based economy, includes many farmworker communities. 

Voter registration: 46.7% Democratic, 22.3% Republican, 23.1% no party preference

The scoop

Primary results: Leticia Perez 50.5%, Jasmeet Bains 49.5%

This is a safe blue district, and it didn’t get a lot of attention during the primary because only two candidates ran. But this may turn into one of the more competitive and costly Democrat versus Democrat races in the fall as they battle to take the place of incumbent Rudy Salas, who opted to leave the Assembly to run for Congress. 

Perez is a Kern County supervisor, a lawyer and the preferred candidate of the Democratic Party and labor unions.

Bains, medical director of a network of Bakersfield substance abuse treatment centers and the more moderate candidate, has the backing of some Democrats – including state Sen. Melissa Hurtado and Assemblymember Evan Low — as well as law enforcement unions and the state’s medical lobby. Bains was initially drawn outside the district she planned to run in, but moved into this district so she could run. 

During the primary, the two were closely matched on fundraising. But Bains had more outside support: about $700,000 from an independent expenditure committee funded by groups including the California Medical Association, the pharmaceutical industry and the California New Car Dealers Association (Bains’ father is a car dealer and she occasionally helps out with the family business). Perez, meanwhile, received $53,000 in support from the Latino Caucus and the California Latino PAC. 

Note from H.R.: Perez was charged in 2018 with two conflict of interest-related misdemeanors after voting against a marijuana dispensary ban in Kern County at a time when her husband was doing business with the cannabis industry. The charges were ultimately dropped after Perez agreed to pay a fine, do community service and complete an ethics course.

Applicants

  • Democratic
  • Republican
  • American Independent
  • Green
  • Libertarian
  • Peace & Freedom
  • No Party
Loading campaign finance data…

Key Endorsements

Jasmeet Bains

  • California Medical Association
  • Peace Officers Research Association of California
  • California Asian and Pacific Islander Legislative Caucus

Leticia Perez

  • California Democratic Legislative Women’s Caucus
  • Assemblymember Wendy Carrillo
  • California Labor Federation
  • Equality California

District 40

The district

Anchored around the former Republican stronghold of Santa Clarita, this district reaches down across the Santa Susana Mountains into the more Democratic-leaning north San Fernando Valley. Voters here should buckle up: This district also overlaps with the more populous corner of the 27th Congressional District, which is certain to be among the most competitive races in the country. 

Voter registration: 41.9% Democratic, 29.0% Republican, 22.6% no party preference

The scoop

Primary results: Suzette Valladares 47.4%, Pilar Schiavo 33.9%

Assemblymember Valladares, a Republican, is perhaps Democrats’ top legislative electoral target. Even without redistricting, she would have been in for a big fight, having won her seat in 2020 after a legion of little-known Democrats divided up the center-left vote. That left Valladares and another Republican vying to represent a Democratic-majority district. With the new electoral map, this district is even bluer. No surprise, in the Legislature, she voted as one of the most moderate Republican members. That has often meant striking a precarious political balance. Case in point, she voted in favor of putting Proposition 1 on the November ballot to make access to abortion a California constitutional right, while stressing that she is personally pro-life and championing the services of a local faith-based pregnancy center.

As the only GOP candidate on the June primary ballot, Valladares earned just shy of half the vote. If Democratic voters turn out in higher numbers in November, as they generally do, that’s an unwelcome indicator for the incumbent. 

But if Democrats argue that Valladares is out of step with the politics of the district, many say the same about her challenger, Schiavo. A labor organizer who campaigned for California to adopt a single-payer health insurance system, she easily fended off a more moderate Democrat in the primary with the backing of the California Democratic Party and some of the state’s most progressive organizing groups. Schiavo is counting on the fact that the district isn’t as centrist as its reputation suggests and that, either way, Democrats of all ideological stripes will vote for the party’s candidate. 

Applicants

  • Democratic
  • Republican
  • American Independent
  • Green
  • Libertarian
  • Peace & Freedom
  • No Party
Loading campaign finance data…

Key Endorsements

Pilar Schiavo

  • State Treasurer Fiona Ma
  • AFSCME California
  • California Faculty Association
  • California Labor Federation
  • California Environmental Voters
  • Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara
  • California Federation of Teachers
  • California Nurses Association
  • Equality California
  • Sierra Club California

Suzette Martinez Valladares

  • Los Angeles City Council member John Lee
  • Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association

District 47

The district

Straddling both Riverside and San Bernardino counties, this district east of Los Angeles County encompasses Palm Desert and Palm Springs. It’s also home to Joshua Tree National Park, as well as large swaths of the Coachella Valley, San Bernardino National Forest and the Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains.  

Voter registration: 39.7% Democratic, 33.9% Republican, 18.8% no party preference

The scoop

Primary results: Christy Holstege 46.5%, Greg Wallis 34.5%

The race in this Democratic-leaning district is to fill the seat of Chad Mayes, the only independent in the Legislature, who is not seeking re-election. 

The Democratic Party’s pick is Holstege, the outgoing Palm Springs mayor who describes herself as a “social justice attorney.” A millennial who claims to be the first openly bisexual mayor of an American city, she draws heavily from her base of support in Palm Springs, with its sizable LGBTQ population.

Finishing second in the four-candidate primary was Wallis, who is a Republican but as Mayes’ district director, can plausibly claim some of his boss’s centrist reputation.

In addition to her vote lead in the primary, Holstege raked in more campaign cash: $580,000, compared to Wallis’ $184,000. Officeholders from both parties have already started contributing to the campaigns, and most indicators point to both sides investing heavily to win in November.

Why? Largely, it’s an indication of whether the GOP can maintain, or grow, its stronghold in one of the fastest growing regions of the state. But the primary results suggest politics of the district are shifting: 54% of the voters cast a ballot for a Democrat.

Applicants

  • Democratic
  • Republican
  • American Independent
  • Green
  • Libertarian
  • Peace & Freedom
  • No Party
Loading campaign finance data…

Key Endorsements

Christy Holstege

  • California Labor Federation
  • California Environmental Justice Alliance
  • Equality California

Greg Wallis

  • Riverside Sheriffs’ Association

District 70

The district

A landlocked block of north Orange County that extends from the Los Angeles County line over to Garden Grove and down to Fountain Valley, the political and cultural heart of the district is the patchwork of neighborhoods that make up Little Saigon.

Voter registration: 37.0% Democratic, 33.0% Republican, 24.6% no party preference

The scoop

Primary results: Diedre Thu-Ha Nguyen 39.7%, Tri Ta 21.2%

This district was drawn to ensure that the state’s largest single Vietnamese community would be empowered to elect a candidate of its choice. Sure enough, with Republican incumbent Janet Nguyen drawn out of the district and once again running for the state Senate instead, two Vietnamese-born candidates emerged from the six-candidate primary.

On the Republican side that’s Westminster Mayor Ta, among the first Vietnamese Americans to serve as mayor of an American city. An ally of former Republican Assemblymember Tyler Diep, whom Nguyen booted from office in 2020 with the help of Republican congressional candidate Scott Baugh in an intra-party scrap over Diep’s labor-friendly voting record, Ta isn’t a direct successor of the incumbent. But the factional politics of Little Saigon are often less ideological than personal, and there’s little reason to expect Ta wouldn’t be a consistent conservative vote in Sacramento, particularly on fiscal issues. He’s also likely to bring a bit of literary flair: Ta has self-published books of poems and short stories under a joint pen name with his wife.

Nguyen, a Garden Grove city councilmember, is the Democratic choice and was the only Democrat on the June ballot. As the candidate who lost to Janet Nguyen in 2020, she’s a known entity. A cancer researcher at Quest Diagnostics, a lab that performs COVID tests, her campaign is really leaning into that resume (her campaign icon features a microscope). Though Nguyen lost convincingly last time and earned less than 40% of the vote in the primary, there are at least two reasons for more optimism about November. The first is the district: The new map trades segments of conservative southern Orange County for more Democratic bastions in the north. The second reason is money. With Democratic competition in the primary, Nguyen spent the spring building up her warchest.

Applicants

  • Democratic
  • Republican
  • American Independent
  • Green
  • Libertarian
  • Peace & Freedom
  • No Party
Loading campaign finance data…

Key Endorsements

Diedre Thu-Ha Nguyen

  • Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon
  • Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia
  • Equality California
  • Sierra Club California
  • Asian American and Pacific Islander Legislative Caucus
  • California Labor Federation

Tri Ta

  • Former Assemblymembers Travis Allen and Van Tran
  • Fountain City Council member Michael Vo

District 74

The district

This coastal district, stretching from San Clemente in Orange County south to San Diego County, includes Camp Pendleton, Oceanside and Laguna Niguel. After redistricting, an area that narrowly voted for Trump is now one Biden carried by 6.2 percentage points. 

Voter registration: 35.0% Democratic, 34.8% Republican, 22.9% no party preference

The scoop

Primary results: Laurie Davies 53.9%, Chris Duncan 46.1% 

This seat, which Republican incumbent Davies is trying to keep, became slightly more competitive with redistricting. The contest is a little bit of deja vu: Davies, who owns a wedding planning business, is once again being challenged by moderate Democrat Duncan, a lawyer who used to work for U.S. Customs and Border Protection and is currently San Clemente’s mayor pro tem. In 2020, Duncan ran against Davies but failed to make it past the primary. In 2022, they were the only candidates in the primary, so Duncan was guaranteed a spot in November. 

Both candidates are competing for the centrist vote. Though Davies says she’s quite conservative, she regularly touts her bipartisan accomplishments in Sacramento. Duncan also likes to talk about his “independent” thinking and his ties with law enforcement.

Though the district is slightly more blue, giving Democrats hope of flipping the seat, Davies still performed well during the primary and outraised Duncan $450,000 to $198,000.

Applicants

  • Democratic
  • Republican
  • American Independent
  • Green
  • Libertarian
  • Peace & Freedom
  • No Party
Loading campaign finance data…

Key Endorsements

Laurie Davies

  • California Republican Party
  • Peace Officers Research Association of California

Chris Duncan

  • California Democratic Party
  • California Labor Federation
  • Equality California
  • California Teachers Association

District 76

The district

Following Interstate 15 north of San Diego into the affluent hills and canyons of North County, this is traditionally Republican territory that, like many well-to-do suburbs, veered away from the GOP during the Trump years.

Voter registration: 37.2% Democratic, 30.8% Republican, 25.6% no party preference

The scoop

Primary results: Brian Maienschein 49.9%, Kristie Bruce-Lane 28.1%

Democrat Maienschein won his north San Diego County seat easily in 2020. While Democrats still have an advantage in the redrawn district, it’s a slightly narrower one, which could spell trouble for the incumbent, who switched from the GOP to Democratic Party in 2019.

In the June primary, two Republican candidates challenged Maienschein. Attorney June Cutter eschewed red-hot culture war issues in favor of more traditional GOP talking points on taxes and crime and earned the endorsement of much of the party establishment. By contrast, Bruce-Lane, a local water board representative, was the red-meat candidate, more likely to rally the conservative base on issues such as “critical race theory” and vaccine mandates.

In a fairly sharp-elbowed campaign, Bruce-Lane won the second spot. With the conventional wisdom being that culture war issues aren’t well received in the suburbs — especially those that lean this Democratic — that was probably welcome news for Maienschein and his supporters. But Bruce-Lane is banking on residual distrust of Maienschein for his party defection while riding what many conservatives hope will be a backlash to COVID-era restrictions and social justice-oriented curricula in public schools.

Applicants

  • Democratic
  • Republican
  • American Independent
  • Green
  • Libertarian
  • Peace & Freedom
  • No Party
Loading campaign finance data…

Key Endorsements

Kristie Bruce-Lane

  • U.S. Rep. Darrell Issa
  • Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association PAC
  • Ward Connerly
  • State Sen. Brian Jones
  • San Diego Asian Americans For Equality
  • Carl DeMaio

Brian Maienschein

  • California Democratic Party
  • California Labor Federation
  • Equality California
Show All Districts