San Francisco renounced their district attorney, Republican affiliation still matters, GOP House incumbents are exhaling, and we’re headed for an epic Los Angeles faceoff.
Two early race calls set the tone for last night’s primary. First we learned that Republican state Sen. Brian Dahle would advance to a November runoff with Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom, leaving independent Michael Shellenberger in the also-ran rack. And then the expected earthquake as San Francisco District Attorney Chesa Boudin was recalled, succumbing to a confluence of crime concerns and massive opposition spending.
Boudin’s ouster was not exactly a surprise. The polls all augured his defeat as San Francicans developed buyers’ remorse after elevating the former public defender in 2019 — a rejection encouraged by a deep-pocketed coalition of tech and real estate interests. His loss is a blow to the national progressive prosecution movement, although an undiminished Boudin told supporters in a fiery speech that “the movement that got us elected in 2019 is alive and well.” Now San francisco Mayor London Breed gets to select a replacement — potentially a long-term one as voters were rejecting a measure barring her pick from seeking re-election.
Nor should Dahle’s victory have shocked you. Since Republicans’ long trudge through the statewide-office-less wilderness began, campaigns regularly contemplate a no-party-preference option as a more viable pick. But California’s five-million-plus Republicans often have other ideas. So it went in the attorney general’s race, where NPP Sacramento District Attorney Anne Marie Schubert was running a distant third behind two Republicans: lead challenger and former U.S. Attorney Nathan Hochman, followed by attorney Eric Early. Gamesmanship by incumbent AG Rob Bonta and allies may have failed to elevate the preferred Early to November.
Speaking of Republicans: frontline Reps. Young Kim and David Valadao had reason to be nervous heading into last night. Both were facing surprisingly stiff Republican challenges (remember, Valadao was the only CA House Republican to vote for former President Donald Trump’s impeachment) that threatened to upend the party’s plans. But Kim and Valadao were leading their GOP rivals as early returns flowed in — although it’s still early, and Valadao's lead was slimmer.
Fact: Having NPP next to your name is a killer in June. Having an R next to your name is a killer in November. Damned if you do, damned if you don't.— Steven Maviglio 🇮🇹🇺🇦🇺🇸 (@stevenmaviglio) June 8, 2022
A fresh case study for critics of top two (though there is still a chance that the late-counted vote could put former Rep. George Radanovich into contention)
Oops. Are Republicans in CA State Senate District 4 getting boxed out of a seat with a 4-pt Rep registration advantage that voted for both Cox in ‘18 and Trump in ‘16 and ‘20. The top two so far are both Democrats. Best of the rest is George Radanivich at 17%. pic.twitter.com/IIKKXpGowj— CA120 (@CA_120) June 8, 2022
CA’s idiotic jungle primary law strikes again. Senate District 4 is a plurality Republican district. So naturally, voters will get the “choice” of electing a Democrat…or a Democrat; even though 56% of voters in the primary supported a Republican. https://t.co/HEQ65qeYbq— Ron Nehring (@RonNehring) June 8, 2022