CFA GOVERNMENTAL RELATIONS OFFICE
GENERAL ELECTION REPORT
NOVEMBER 06, 2002
- DEMOCRATS SWEEP CONSTITUTIONAL OFFICES
- STATE SENATE REMAINS 26-14
- ASSEMBLY DEMOCRATS LOSE TWO SEATS; NOW 48-32
After a long night of nail biting, California Democrats captured all statewide
constitutional office seats for the first time in over 150 years. The last
time any single party swept all constitutional offices was in 1946 when the
Republicans staked this claim.
Voter turnout in the first general election held under the 2000
reapportionment plan was one of lowest in California's history, particularly
among Democrats. Only 44.8% of registered voters voted in yesterday's
election. Tuesday's election also marks the first time since 1966 that
California hasn't had a woman in a constitutional office (only true political
junkies would remember Ivy Baker Priest elected in 1966 as State Treasurer).
The following is a synopsis of key general election results based on the
Secretary of State's semi-official results. Official results will be posted
after all absentee ballots have been confirmed.
GOVERNOR Davis 47.4% -- Simon 42.4%
In a very humbling victory for Davis, the voters of Los Angeles and San
Francisco delivered big for the Governor. In the end, Davis was the fourth
lowest vote getter among Democratic constitutional office candidates - not a
resounding victory. The low turnout for Davis means he needs to solidify his
base if he has political aspirations beyond the next four years.
LT GOVERNOR Bustamante 49.5% - McPherson 41.7%
Bustamante's reelection as Lieutenant Governor ensures his continued voice of
support and reason on the CSU Board of Trustees.
CONTROLLER Westly 45.4% - McClintock 45.0%
CFA endorsed candidate Steve Westly leads his Republican challenger by 28,000
votes. This race is not over; while the remaining uncounted ballots will not
likely result in a different outcome, we may not know for days. As a sitting
member of the CalPERS Board of Administration, Westly will be a strong voice
for public employees.
SUPERINTENDENT OF PUBLIC INSTRUCTION O'Connell 61.8% - Smith 38.2%
In a landslide victory, CFA-endorsed candidate Jack O'Connell was the top vote
getter of all constitutional office candidates, soundly defeating his
opponent. O' Connell, a long time friend of CFA, was honored with the CFA
Lifetime Achievement in Education Award in 2001, and once authored CFA's
agency fee legislation. As Superintendent, O'Connell has pledged to attend
the CSU Board of Trustees meetings.
SD 12 Areias (D) 47.9%D - 47.7% R
This seat, reapportioned to ensure a Democratic victory, was the Senate's only
competitive seat. As of this morning, CFA-endorsed candidate Rusty Areias (D)
leads his Republican challenger, Jeff Denham, by only 226 votes. With nearly
$5 million spent on both sides, this race was both costly and bitter. Yet all
the money spent couldn't turn out more than 31% of the electorate in
Stanislaus County, 37.9% in San Benito, or 41.5% in Merced County which
combined comprises 80% of the district. Constituents in this district,
already disillusioned with the Condit debacle, were besieged with mail in this
and the overlying Congressional race. One household received nearly 30 pieces
of mail in the last week for the Senate race alone. The result? Voters were
turned off and didn't turn out. With over $40 per vote spent, the ultimate
outcome of this race may still not be known for days. For right now, we count
it in the Democratic column.
SD 24 Romero (D) 71.5% D - 26.1% R
Senator and CFA member Gloria Romero easily returns to her second term in the
Senate. Congratulations Gloria!
AD 15 Gerber (D) 46.3% D - 53.7% R
CFA-endorsed candidate Donna Gerber (D) was soundly defeated by Guy Huston
(R), former mayor of Dublin. In this sprawling district -- which incorporates
the northeast portion of Alameda County (Pleasanton), parts of Contra Costa
and San Joaquin counties, and the southern rural portion of Sacramento County
(Elk Grove) - low Democratic turnout signaled Gerber's defeat. CFA worked in
coalition with other labor unions through our independent expenditure
committee - Opportunity PAC - to help Gerber's campaign.
AD 17 Matthews (D) 56.4% D - 43.6% R
Considered the most vulnerable of all Assembly Democratic incumbents, Matthews
soundly defeated her Republican opponent in this race targeted by Republicans
in the last few weeks of the election.
AD 30 Parra (D) 50.5% D - 49.5% R
CFA endorsed candidate Nicole Parra narrowly defeated her Republican opponent
in this open seat. Separated by only 475 votes, Parra's election is
significant as it's the only Democratic Assembly seat going into the race that
supported Bush in the 2000 presidential election. Parra succeeds
Assembymember Dean Florez, who was elected to the State Senate.
AD 44 Liu (D) 60.1% D - 36.9% R
Although a strong Democratic district, CFA-endorsed candidate Carol Liu
received only 207 votes above her Republican opponent in the March primary,
making this seat of interest in the November general election. By capturing
60%+ of votes cast, Liu -- the newly appointed Chair of the Assembly Higher
Education Committee - soundly defeated her Republican challenger.
AD 54 Lowenthal (D) 60% D - 40% R
CFA-endorsed candidate and former CSULB faculty member Alan Lowenthal defeated
his Republican opponent in this race once thought a prime target for Assembly
Republicans. Despite rumors that he would have problems (Lowenthal received
1,300 less votes than his challenger in the primary), Lowenthal had no trouble
being reelected to his third (and last) term.
AD 78 Hall (D) 47.4% D - 49.6% R
The most significant loss for CFA, CFA member Vince Hall lost to his
Republican challenger by only 1,796 votes. Low voter turnout likely
contributed to Hall's defeat; the district resides exclusively in San Diego
County, which had the ninth lowest voter turnout of all counties. Hall's
connection with his former boss Gray Davis may have also hurt; Davis was
trounced in San Diego County with Simon polling 10% above the county's
Republican registration (Simon received 51.6% and Davis 40.8% in San Diego
County). In addition, scars ran deep from the primary (one of Hall's primary
challengers endorsed the Republican candidate) and Hall's Republican
challenger has a history of being able to attract Democratic and independent
voters. If he had been successful, Hall would have been the fourth CFA member
elected to state legislative office.
Thanks to all our many CFA members and staff who walked precincts this weekend
and Tuesday to help Vince get elected. The margin of defeat would have been
much greater without your commitment and tireless work.
AD 80 Acuna (D) 48.8% D - 51.2% R
Although the registration favored Acuna, low Democratic turnout worked against
Acuna who received significant support from the party and Assembly Democrats.
CFA BIDS FAREWELL TO MANY FRIENDS . . . AND FOES
(We'll let you decide who's who)
Among those termed out of office and not immediately assuming another:
Senate: Jim Costa, Ray Haynes, Maurice Johannessen, Dick Monteith, Steve
Peace, Richard Polanco Assembly: Elaine Alquist, Dion Aroner, Bill Campbell,
Tony Cardenas, Sally Havice, Bob Hertzberg, Fred Keeley, Lynn Leach, Rod
Pacheco, Lou Papan, George Runner, Virginia Strom Martin, Helen Thomson, Carl
Washington, Howard Wayne, Rod Wright.
Among termed out members assuming new office: Jack O'Connell (Superintendent
of Public Instruction), Dennis Cardoza (CD 18), Carole Migden (Board of
Equalization), Kevin Shelley (Secretary of State), and Roy Ashburn (SD 18).
Proposition 47 - Kindergarten-University Facilities Bond
Proposition 47, endorsed by CFA, was approved by a substantial 58.9% - 41.1%
margin. The largest statewide bond issue in California history will generate
approximately $13 million for new construction and upgrades for school
facilities. The CSU will receive nearly $500 million from bond proceeds,
which is sorely needed for new construction and upgrades to absorb the
historic increase in enrollment that is projected for the system.
Proposition 51 - Transportation. Distribution of Existing Motor Vehicle
Sales and Use Tax
Proposition 51, opposed by CFA, went down to defeat with 58.7% of voters
rejecting the measure. The measure, which gained a place on the ballot
through the initiative process, would have redirected nearly $1 billion in
state general fund revenue to a trust fund that could only be used for
transportation, environmental, highway and school bus safety programs.
Proposition 51 was the subject of considerable opposition and was roundly
criticized in newspaper editorials around the state. Given California's
fiscal outlook, Proposition 51 would have increased the likelihood of cuts in
education and health/welfare programs.
Proposition 52 - Election Day Voter Registration. Voter Fraud Penalties.
Proposition 52, another product of the initiative process, was emphatically
rejected by 59.3% of the voters. The measure, supported by CFA, would have
permitted voter registration on election day. Opponents and many newspaper
editorials argued that such a move would make the process more susceptible to
fraud. It appears the vast majority of voters shared this concern. Rob
McKay, spent almost $3 million of his own money in support of the "yes"
campaign, but in the end it wasn't enough. Ouch!
CFA thanks all it's member activists who worked during the past few weeks to
ensure victories for our endorsed candidates. A few campaigns did not turn
out as we had hoped and wanted, but a number of victories in key races ensures
a favorable political climate for the next couple of years. Thanks for the
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