State Senate

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California is seeking state senators to represent 20 of its newly drawn districts, each home to more than 900,000 constituents. 


  • Collaborative skills – or at least, the ability to work with Democrats, given their overwhelming control
  • Subject expertise desired, but not required: Senators are assigned to any of 22 standing committees, six subcommittees or joint committees, each focused on areas such as labor, health and the environment
  • The art of persuasion: Make the case for as many as 50 bills a typical senator introduces in a regular session, or for specific budget items
  • An ear on the ground: Respond to the concerns of voters in their districts, such as homelessness or unemployment


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

Candidates of any party are encouraged to apply, though conservative-leaning candidates should be prepared to work with a potential Democratic supermajority in the Legislature and a Democratic governor. 

About the hiring process:

The state Senate is seeing a shake-up this year due to a combination of term limits and new district maps following the 2020 Census. Senators serve staggered, four-year terms, and the 20 even-numbered districts are on the ballot this year. So some voters who were to pick a state senator in 2022 are now in new districts and won’t get a chance until 2024.    

Seven of the 40 current senators can’t run again due to term limits. Another four have chosen not to seek re-election. For some, that’s to pursue higher office: Sydney Kamlager of Los Angeles is running for Congress and Steve Glazer of Walnut Creek is running for state controller. The others – Connie Leyva of Chino and Andreas Borgeas of Fresno – are bowing out of politics altogether.

The current Senate has 31 Democrats and 9 Republicans. While control is out of reach, if they flip at least five seats, Republicans could eliminate Democrats’ two-thirds control that allows them to pass tax increases or put constitutional amendments on the ballot without any Republican votes. Two Democrats are running unopposed, so have essentially already been hired. We’re spotlighting five particularly noteworthy races.   

For all positions, the top two applicants will move on for ultimate consideration in November.  



  • Democratic
  • Republican
  • American Independent
  • Green
  • Libertarian
  • Peace & Freedom
  • No Party

District 2

Safe Democratic
Mike McGuireIncumbent
State Senator
Gene Yoon
Business Owner

District 4

Hot Race Safe Republican
Marie Alvarado-Gil
Public School Administrator
Steven C. Bailey
Constitutional Rights Litigator
Jolene Rehana Daly
Mental Health Therapist
Michael Gordon
Businessman / School Board Member
Jack Griffith
Retired Combat Engineer
Jeff McKay
Small Business Owner
George Radonovich
Small Business Owner
Tim Robertson
Labor Federation Executive
More details

District 6

Leans Republican
Michael J. Huang
Physician And Surgeon
Roger Niello
Small Businessman
Paula Villescaz
Health Policy Director

District 8

Safe Democratic
Angelique Ashby
Sacramento City Councilwoman
Rafa Garcia
Union Representative
Dave Jones
Environmental Advocate / Educator

District 10

Safe Democratic
Jim Canova
Businessman / School Trustee
Jamal Khan
Raymond Liu
Lily Mei
Mayor Of Fremont
Paul Pimentel
Father / Businessman / Pastor
Aisha Wahab
City Councilmember / Businesswoman

District 12

Safe Republican
Shannon GroveIncumbent
State Senator / Businesswoman
Susanne Gundy
Retired Program Manager

District 14

Safe Democratic
Anna CaballeroIncumbent
California State Senator
Paulina Miranda
No Ballot Designation
Amnon Shor
Rabbi / Businessman

District 16

Hot Race Toss Up
Melissa HurtadoIncumbent
State Senator
Bryan Osorio
Mayor Of Delano
Nicole Parra
Non-Profit Board Member
David Shepard
Gregory Tatum
Pastor / Avionics Technician
More details

District 18

Safe Democratic
Alejandro Galicia
Ceo / Veterans' Advocate
Steve Padilla
Chula Vista City Councilmember / Commissioner

District 20

Hot Race Safe Democratic
Ely De La Cruz Ayao
Real Estate Broker
Daniel Hertzberg
Caroline Menjivar
Non-Profit Program Director
Seydi Alejandra Morales
Attorney / Businesswoman / Parent
More details

District 22

Safe Democratic
Kimo Mateo
Father / Operations Manager
Susan RubioIncumbent
State Senator / Teacher
Vincent Tsai
Deputy Sheriff

District 24

Safe Democratic
Ben AllenIncumbent
California State Senator

District 26

Safe Democratic
Maria Elena DurazoIncumbent
State Senator

District 28

Safe Democratic
Jamaal A. Gulledge
Public Servant
Joe Lisuzzo
Los Angeles Businessman
Kamilah Victoria Moore
No Ballot Designation
Lola Smallwood-Cuevas
Educator / Community Organizer
Cheryl C. Turner
Civil Rights Lawyer

District 30

Hot Race Safe Democratic
Bob ArchuletaIncumbent
California State Senator
Henry Bouchot
Councilmember, City Of Whittier
Mitch Clemmons
Plumber / Business Owner
Martha Camacho Rodriguez
Teacher / Water Advocate
More details

District 32

Safe Republican
Brian Nash
Analytics Consultant / Businessperson
Kelly SeyartoIncumbent
California State Assemblymember

District 34

Safe Democratic
Rhonda Shader
Mayor / Small Businesswoman
Tom UmbergIncumbent
Senator / Small Businessperson

District 36

Leans Republican
Kim Carr
City Of Huntington Beach Councilmember
Janet Nguyen
California Assemblymember / Business Owner

District 38

Hot Race Leans Democratic
Catherine Blakespear
Mayor Of Encitas
Matt Gunderson
Small Business Owner
Joe Kerr
Retired Fire Captain
More details

District 40

Leans Republican
Brian W. JonesIncumbent
State Senator / Businessman
Joseph C. Rocha
Marine Captain / Attorney