Within two hours of polls closing on Tuesday evening, some of the most closely watched races in California’s primary election had been decided:
San Francisco voters ousted the progressive district attorney Chesa Boudin, an indication that many in the city’s Democratic hierarchy may be “out of step — and further left — than the city’s voters,” my colleague Thomas Fuller wrote.
The race for the next mayor of Los Angeles narrowed to Representative Karen Bass and the billionaire real estate developer Rick Caruso. Alex Villanueva, the Los Angeles County sheriff, one of the most politically divisive elected officials in the state, did not win enough votes to avoid the general election in November.
The ballot contained dozens of races, and you can see the full slate of California election results here. Today I’ll walk you through some takeaways from other major contests.
California voters determined that Gov. Gavin Newsom will face off in November against Brian Dahle, a Republican state senator and wheat farmer from rural Lassen County.
Newsom is widely expected to win in the general election and secure his second term, and Tuesday’s vote reflects that overwhelming support. As of Wednesday morning, Newsom had earned 58 percent of the vote and Dahle 16.
The primary comes just nine months after Newsom survived a recall vote — and that’s part of why he is skating through.
Republicans gambled on removing Newsom from office last year through the recall process, which can be an easier path to ousting incumbents. But Californians’ resounding defeat of the recall seemed to embolden Newsom and make it nearly impossible for Republicans to position a strong competitor so soon after.
Read more from The New York Times.
Previously a Democratic state legislator from the Bay Area, Rob Bonta was appointed by Newsom last spring to be California attorney general.
Bonta is a progressive, and his challengers have tried to link him to national backlash against criminal justice reforms (and specifically to the local efforts to recall Boudin and George Gascón, the Los Angeles County district attorney).
His primary opponents included Nathan Hochman, a Republican and a former U.S. attorney; Eric Early, a Republican and a conservative attorney; and Anne Marie Schubert, the Sacramento County district attorney running as an independent, who some thought would appeal to voters as a more moderate candidate.
On Tuesday, Bonta easily secured a spot in the general election, earning more than half of the vote. Schubert was a distant fourth.
Districts 22 and 40
The races in these congressional districts were viewed as tests for the moderate wing of the Republican Party.
They both featured incumbents who are moderate Republicans facing challenges from Democrats and pro-Trump Republicans. Joe Biden carried both districts in 2020, so Democrats stood to benefit if voters sent Trump-aligned candidates to the general election.
Young Kim was elected in 2020 by Orange County voters to represent District 40 as a champion of fiscal conservatism and the idea that the Republican Party is not just for white men. David Valadao, whose district spans the San Joaquin Valley, is one of the few Republicans who voted to impeach Trump for inciting the Jan. 6 Capitol riot.
By early Wednesday morning, the top two had not been finalized for either district. But in both, the Democratic candidates were leading, with Kim and Valadao in second place ahead of their conservative challengers.
What we’re eating
Green curry glazed tofu.
Where we’re traveling
Today’s tip comes from Dianna Jackson, who recommends the Central Coast’s Morro Bay:
“For older travelers that can’t walk too far or take on hills, it’s a gold mine. The bay is graced by Morro Rock, a 576-foot behemoth that rises from the sea. There is ample parking at the Rock and a good man-made trail along the bay that facilitates lovely views of otters lollygagging in the bay, a huge bird population to gander at along the walk. The bay also is a great place to kayak or paddle board and if you aren’t up for that, there are little motorized boats you can rent to take a twirl around the place. At the south end of the bay, there is another man-made boardwalk that winds you around the area which is perfect for shorebird watching while offering a good view of the rock from a distance.
On the dock of the bay are several restaurants that offer a variety of cuisines. A dockside restaurant is perched above the water, almost, and you can enjoy fish and chips outdoors while listening to local musicians play their tunes and sing their songs, while at the south end is a restaurant named Bayside Cafe that offers views with food and outdoor dining.
And if that isn’t enough there is the Elfin Forest walk and Sweet Springs Nature Preserve in Los Osos, a neighboring town to the south.”
Tell us about your favorite places to visit in California. Email your suggestions to [email protected] We’ll be sharing more in upcoming editions of the newsletter.
And before you go, some good news
On a recent weekday, about 700 children spent the day cleaning up a dune habitat on Humboldt Bay. For many, it was their first field trip after coming back to school full time, The North Coast Journal reports.
After picking up trash, the students and their teachers sat on the sand, forming the outline of three sea stars and the words “Restore Joy.”
Thanks for reading. I’ll be back tomorrow. — Soumya
P.S. Here’s today’s Mini Crossword, and a clue: “Lost ___ is never found again”: Benjamin Franklin (4 letters).
Mariel Wamsley contributed to California Today. You can reach the team at [email protected].
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