DEMOCRATS SWEEP STATEWIDE RACES AND GAIN VETO-PROOF MAJORITY IN LEGISLATURE

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By Miriam Raftery

Photo: Governor-elect Gavin Newsom (file photo by Ron Logan)

November 7, 2018 (Sacramento) – Maintaining California’s reputation as the bluest state in the nation, Democrats won every statewide office and also regained a two-thirds, veto-proof majority in both houses of the State Legislature –with two votes to spare.

Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom will be the new Governor, filling the office left open by Jerry Brown’s retirement due to term limits. Newsom defeated Republican businessman John Cox of San Diego by nearly a 60-40 margin.

The new Lieutenant Governor will be Eleni Koulanakis, the party-endorsed Democrat who defeated fellow Democrat Ed Hernandez by a 56 to 44 percent spread.

Attorney General Xavier Becerra, Secretary of State Alex Padilla, and Controller Betty Yee and Treasurer Fiona Ma all won reelection easily with over 60 percent each.

The closest race is for the open seat in the Insurance Commissioner’s office. With 100% of precincts counted but some mail-in and provisional ballots remaining, Democratic State Senator Richardo Lara is leading over former Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner, a Republican by a thin margin, 50.8 to 49.2 percent, only a few thousand votes.

The party did suffer one loss. In the Superintendent of Public Education race, two Democrats were in the running.  Tony Thurmond had the Democratic Party’s endorsement as well as the California Teacher’s union, but he to have narrowly lost to Marshall Tuck, former head of a charter schools organization in Los Angeles. With all precincts counted but some provisional and mail-in ballots remaining, Tuck leads Thurmond by just 1 percentage point, out of more than 6 million votes cast statewide.