Why Gavin Newsom doesn’t wish his next task ‘even on my worst enemy’

first_imgThere is no shortage of Golden State Democrats for Newsom to pick from, and he didn’t seem to relish the task ahead of him. “This is not something that I wish even on my worst enemy, because you create enemies in this process you know, not just friends,” said Newsom. “And it’s a vexing decision. It’s a challenging one.”Campaign Action- Advertisement – ● Uncalled Races: Over the weekend, it became mathematically impossible for Republicans to flip the House as Democrats locked in victories in a majority of districts. As of Monday afternoon, Democrats have won 219 seats and lead in races for three others. Republicans, meanwhile, hold 198 seats, lead in 14, and will add one more once a runoff in Louisiana’s safely red 5th Congressional District is resolved next month.And at least one of those contests where Republicans are currently ahead is all but assured of seeing a lead change after officials start tallying absentee votes this week: In New York’s 3rd District, Republican George Santos holds a 50-49 edge on Democratic Rep. Tom Suozzi, but according to data obtained by Spectrum News reporter Nick Reisman, registered Democrats have returned three times as many absentee ballots as Republicans.Democratic candidates in the state’s other uncalled House races, however, aren’t as fortunate as Suozzi. In the 1st, 2nd, 11th, 22nd, and 24th Districts, Democrats have disproportionately voted absentee, but unless unusually large numbers of independents and Republicans decided to vote blue, Republican congressional hopefuls are likely to prevail in all five of these races.But the outlook is much better for Democrats in the state Senate, though they’re unlikely to gain the two-thirds supermajority many progressives had hoped for. Democrats, who went into the election holding 40 of 63 seats, currently lead in 37 races, according to an analysis by David Beard, and should hang on in all of those. They’re also well-positioned to come from behind in two more districts, the 38th and 40th, and could even win the 22nd and 50th.That, however, would leave them with 41 total seats, one shy of a supermajority, unless they can pull off a longshot win in either the 5th or 6th District. Ballots can still arrive as late as Tuesday as long as they were postmarked by Election Day, though, so these figures could yet change. It may also take a long time before we see final returns: The state Board of Elections took six weeks to certify the results of this year’s June primary.Meanwhile, here is a look at where several important unresolved downballot contests stand as of Monday:● AK Ballot: Measure 2, which would implement a “top-four” primary, is trailing 56-44 with 186,000 ballots counted.● Maricopa County, AZ Recorder: Republican Stephen Richer leads Democratic incumbent Adrian Fortes 50.01-49.99―a margin of just under 2,000 votes―with 1.86 million ballots counted.● CA Ballot: Proposition 15, the so-called “split roll” initiative, is trailing 52-48 with 14.1 million votes in.● Orange County, CA Board of Supervisors: Republican incumbent Andrew Do leads Democrat Sergio Contreras 52-48 with 198,000 votes in.● Arapahoe, Douglas, Elbert and Lincoln Counties, CO District Attorney: Republican John Kellner leads Democrat Amy Padden 50.1-49.9 with 570,000 votes in.● NC-AG: Democratic incumbent Josh Stein leads Republican Jim O’Neill 50.1-49.9 with 5.36 million votes in.● PA Treasurer: Republican Stacy Garrity leads Democratic incumbent Joe Torsella 49-48 with 6.61 million votes in.Called RacesBelow we’re recapping a host of lesser-known but important elections that took place Tuesday, as well as a number of races that were called after Election Night. Quite a few contests remain uncalled, but we’re tracking all of them on our continually updated cheat-sheet, and of course we’ll cover each of them in the Digest once they’re resolved.Gubernatorial● PR-Gov: Pedro Pierluisi of the pro-statehood New Progressive Party (PNP) defeated Popular Democratic Party nominee Carlos Delgado 33-32, and Delgado conceded on Saturday. Pierluisi will succeed outgoing Gov. Wanda Vázquez, whom he defeated in the August primary.While the result means that the PNP will keep control of the governor’s office for the next four years, Pierluisi’s win also gives Democrats a pickup from Republicans. While Pierluisi caucused with U.S. House Democrats when he represented Puerto Rico as its non-voting resident commissioner, Vázquez is a Republican who endorsed Trump following her primary loss.As those two intra-party rivals demonstrate, Puerto Rico’s main parties don’t correspond neatly to the partisan factions on the mainland. Notably, Pierluisi’s immediate predecessor and successor as resident commissioner aligned themselves in D.C. with Team Red even though they also hail from the PNP.House● AZ-06: Republican Rep. David Schweikert has defeated Democratic challenger Hiral Tipirneni.● CA-04: Republican Rep. Tom McClintock secured victory after Democrat Brynne Kennedy conceded on Friday.● CA-50: Republican Darrell Issa defeated Democrat Ammar Campa-Najjar.● NV-03: Freshman Democratic Rep. Susie Lee defeated Republican Dan Rodimer.● PA-17: Democratic Rep. Conor Lamb defeated Republican Sean Parnell.● VA-07: Freshman Democratic Rep. Abigail Spanberger defeated Republican Nick Freitas.Legislative● NM State Senate: New Mexico Democrats netted only one seat on Tuesday, but as the NM Political Report’s Susan Dunlap writes, their new 27-15 majority will be significantly more progressive than the 26-16 one that it’s replacing.Conservative Democrats have spent the last two years weakening legislation to increase the minimum wage and blocking efforts to legalize marijuana and to repeal a 1969 law that made it a felony to perform an abortion in most cases. In June, though, five of those conservative Democratic incumbents lost to progressive primary foes. Republicans managed to flip two of those districts last week, but Team Blue more than made up for it by taking three GOP-held seats.● RI State House, State Senate: Rhode Island’s Democratic-dominated state House is getting a new speaker who appears to be a real upgrade over the man he’s replacing, and ironically, it’s because of a Republican victory on Tuesday.Speaker Nicholas Mattiello lost re-election by a 59-41 margin against Republican Barbara Ann Fenton-Fung, the wife of outgoing Cranston Mayor and 2014/2018 GOP gubernatorial nominee Allan Fung. Majority Leader Joe Shekarchi quickly secured enough votes to become the new speaker, which will make him the chamber’s second gay leader.Shekarchi calls himself a “moderate on all issues,” though he’s notably better than the conservative Mattiello on some key issues. Shekarchi supported a successful 2019 bill to protect abortion rights, legislation that Mattiello voted against (though he still let it come to the floor). The Boston Globe’s Edward Fitzpatrick also writes that Shekarchi sports a D rating from the NRA compared to Mattiello’s A score.WPRI’s Ted Nesi notes as well Shekarchi also took an important step early to appeal to the left by naming Chris Blazejewski as majority leader, a move Nesi says “made clear progressives will be closer to the center of the action than they had been under Mattiello, who liked to publicly tout his ability to thwart liberal policies.”The status quo largely reigned supreme in the state Senate, where Senate President Dominick Ruggerio and Senate Majority Leader Mike McCaffrey remain in charge months after they turned back progressive primary challenges. Nesi, though, writes that the pair “both signaled Friday night they plan to move policy to the left following progressive primary victories — including by backing the legalization of recreational marijuana.”Mayoral● Richmond, VA Mayor: While Democratic Mayor Levar Stoney only took 37% of the vote on Tuesday against two well-funded intra-party foes, he managed to avoid a runoff thanks to the city’s strange electoral system. Stoney took a plurality of the vote in six of the city’s nine council districts, which is one more than he needed to win outright. Alexsis Rodgers, a former state director for the National Domestic Workers Alliance, took 27% citywide in the nonpartisan contest, while City Councilwoman Kim Gray was just behind with 26%.● San Diego, CA Mayor: Assemblyman Todd Gloria’s win in the all-Democratic general election was confirmed on Monday when City Councilor Barbara Bry conceded.Gloria held a 56-44 lead over Bry, whom the San Diego Union-Tribune said back in March had “more centrist stances on business regulations and on new housing in single-family areas,” in the contest to succeed termed-out Republican incumbent Kevin Faulconer. Gloria, who served as interim mayor for six months from 2013 to 2014, is the first gay person to be elected to the post, as well as the first elected mayor of color.Ballot Measures● PR Ballot: Puerto Rico voters approved a non-binding referendum asking, “Should Puerto Rico be admitted immediately into the union as a state” by a 52-48 margin. However, it’s very unlikely that Congress will admit Puerto Rico as long as Republicans control at least one chamber. While it’s far from clear which party the island would favor if it were a state, Republicans like Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell have insisted that the move would give Democrats two Senate seats “in perpetuity.”Other Races● AZ Corporation Commission: Republicans will hold a 3-2 majority on the state Corporation Commission, the powerful body that regulates utilities, after Democrats flipped only one of the two seats they needed to take control. Democrat Anna Tovar took first place in the six-person statewide race with 17.6%, while incumbent Lea Marquez Peterson earned second with 17.5%. The crucial third seat went to Jim O’Connor, who edged out fellow Republican Eric Sloan 17.3-16.4.The other two seats, one Democratic-held and one in GOP hands, will be on the ballot in 2022, so Team Blue would need to take both to flip the Corporation Commission in two years.● GA Public Service Commission: Public Service Commissioner Bubba McDonald, a Republican who has served on the five-person utility regulating board for 22 years, failed to take the majority he needed to avoid a Dec. 1 runoff. McDonald earned 49.9% of the vote statewide, while Democrat Daniel Blackman was a few points behind with 47.0%.While both of Georgia’s U.S. Senate seats are also going to runoffs, those contests will be held more than a month later on Jan. 5: The Peach State requires candidates for state-level races and non-presidential federal contests to win a majority of the vote, but state and federal contests runoffs take place on separate days (due partly to federal law requiring military and overseas voters be mailed their ballots at least 45 days before federal election dates to ensure they arrive in time).P.S. Interestingly, a second member of the all-GOP Public Service Commission, Jason Shaw, managed to win outright 50-47 even though Shaw was running his first election since his appointment last year. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution notes that Shaw and Blackman both had the backing of the state AFL-CIO, which could explain the small but crucial difference between the two Republicans.● Maricopa County, AZ Attorney: Appointed GOP incumbent Allister Adel defeated Democratic challenger Julie Gunnigle 51-49.● TX Railroad Commission: Republican Jim Wright beat Democrat Chrysta Castañeda 53-43, which means his party will keep their 3-0 majority on the body that regulates the energy industry. Then-Attorney General Harris, though, entered the race days later with plenty of name recognition and connections, and her many would-be opponents gradually decided not to go up against her. The only other notable Democrat who ended up running that year was Rep. Loretta Sanchez, who lost the general election to Harris 62-38. However, it’s far from guaranteed that the Golden State’s new senator will look as strong as Harris did six years ago.Georgia Runoffs● GA-Sen-A: The Associated Press has called a runoff between Republican Sen. David Perdue and Democrat Jon Ossoff, which means that both of Georgia’s Senate seats will be on the ballot on Jan. 5—a development that keeps the door open to Democrats taking control of the chamber next year.Ossoff has already debuted his first commercial for the second round. “The path to recovery is clear,” Ossoff tells the audience. “First, we listen to medical experts to control this virus. Then we shore up our economy with stronger support for small business and tax relief for working families.” He continues, “And it’s time for a historic infrastructure plan to get people back to work and invest in our future. We need leaders who bring us together to get this done.”Uncalled Races- Advertisement – – Advertisement – As for possible names, we’re not going to dive down that rabbit hole just yet. This is an election with only one voter—Newsom—and the results may not be announced for another two months, so unless the governor himself tips his hand, there’s simply no way to know whom he might choose.It also remains to be seen if the new senator would be able to avoid a seriously contested race against one or more fellow Democrats if they seek election in 2022. Under California law, all candidates would compete in a top-two primary that year, and the two contenders with the most votes would advance to the general election regardless of party.What is clear, though, is that there are plenty of Democrats in America’s largest state who very much would like to go to the Senate. Indeed, a multitude of politicians initially expressed interest in running for the upper chamber in early 2015 when Barbara Boxer announced that she would not run for a fifth term, a move that set off the state’s first open Senate race since 1992.- Advertisement –last_img

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