Women poised for modest gains in legislative races

FILE -- In this Jan. 23, 2013 file photo, Gov. Jerry Brown gives his State of the State address before a joint session of the Legislature at the Capitol in Sacramento, Calif.  State Sen. Lois Wolk, D-Davis and Assemblywoman Kristin Olsen, R-Modesto, have proposed indentical bills that would require all legislation to be in print and online 72 hours before it can come to a vote.  Both bills would be constitutional amendments and would have to be approved by the voters. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)

Women make up more than half of California’s population, but only about one-fourth of the Legislature. 

And in November, that’s unlikely to change too much, according to a CalWatchdog analysis.

While an October surprise, outside factor or just particularly good or bad campaigning could change the course of race that appears to be a sure thing, primary results, incumbency advantages, voting trends and partisan makeup of a district can be useful in making educated guesses.

Currently, out of 120 legislative seats, there are 30 held by women — an additional seat is vacant now, having been held by the late Republican Senator Sharon Runner, who died unexpectedly earlier this month.   

There could be as many as 49 women in the Legislature next year, but it is likely that they’ll hover around the same amount as this year.  

In the Senate, women could have as few as five seats and as many as 13 — realistically, the number will likely be around eight to 10 seats. In the Assembly, women will occupy at least six seats and as many as 36, but that number will likely be somewhere between 15 and 24 seats. 

What we know for sure

Republican Senators Jean Fuller, Janet Nguyen, Pat Bates and Democratic Senators Connie Leyva and Holly Mitchell are not up for re-election and will definitely be returning next year, as the Senate is on staggered four-year terms.

In the Assembly, every seat is up for re-election every two years, although five seats will definitely stay occupied by women — either because the incumbent is running unopposed (or facing a write-in challenge) or because the incumbents are facing another woman in the general election. Those five seats are held by: Democrats Cheryl Brown, Cristina Garcia and Autumn Burke and Republicans Catharine Baker and Young Kim. 

Because of either term limits or the seat being vacated by an incumbent running for another position, eight seats held by women will be replaced by men as no women advanced from the primary in these races. Those are the seats currently held by Republican Assemblywomen Beth Gaines, Kristin Olsen, Shannon Grove and Ling Ling Chang and one Democrat, Toni Atkins, as well as two Democratic senators, Carol Liu and Fran Pavley.

Runner’s Senate seat will also be filled by a man.

There is only one definite pickup: An Assembly seat held by termed-out Democrat Luis Alejo.  

Seats where we likely know the outcome

Again, nothing is guaranteed until the final votes are tallied, but these nine seats are safe bets.

While the Assembly seat of Speaker Emeritus Toni Atkins will be filled with a man as mentioned above, the San Diego Democrat is expected to offset that loss by filling a seat being vacated by a man in the Senate. 

Because of the advantages of incumbency, district voting trends and favorable lopsided primary results, these eight female legislators will likely keep their seats: In the Senate, it’s Democrats Hannah-Beth Jackson (the current chair of the Women’s Caucus) and Cathleen Galgiani, and in the Assembly, it’s Democrats Jacqui Irwin, Susan Talamantes Eggman, Shirley Weber and Lorena Gonzalez with Republicans Melissa Melendez and Marie Waldron.

One female incumbent in trouble 

The only incumbent woman who is on very shaky ground is Democrat Patty Lopez. Lopez finished second in the primary, down 17.2 percentage points to the man she surprisingly knocked out of office in 2014, fellow Democrat Raul Bocanegra.

Best pickup chances

In the race to replace Sen. Mark Leno, who is termed out, Jane Kim led the primary against fellow Democrat Scott Wiener 45.3 percent to 45.1 percent. It’s obviously a close race, but it is a good chance for a woman to pick up a seat.

In a less competitive race, Democrat Cecilia Aguiar-Curry finished first in the primary against Republican Charlie Schaupp in a heavily Democratic district to replace Assemblyman Bill Dodd, D-Napa, who is running for Senate.

Democrat S. Monique Limón finished the primary with a formidable lead against Edward Fuller, who claims no party preference, 65.9 percent t0 34.1 percent. If elected, Limón would replace Democratic Assemblyman Das Williams. 

In the race to replace termed-out, Democratic Assemblyman Roger Hernandez — who is currently under a three-year restraining order for alleged domestic violence — Blanca Rubio appears likely to win. Rubio, a Democrat, will face Republican Cory Ellenson in a heavily-Democratic district.

Two wildcards 

Two seats where women have decent chances to pickup seats, although the odds are slightly tipped against them, are the Senate races to replace termed-out Republican Bob Huff and incumbent Democrat Jim Beall.

Republican Assemblywoman Ling Ling Chang saw an opening in the Huff race and decided to vacate her Assembly seat after only one term. However, she finished the primary with only 44 percent, with two Democrats splitting the 56 percent majority. 

Beall is being challenged by Assemblywoman Nora Campos, a fellow Democrat. Beall narrowly missed a majority in the primary, topping Campos by 22.5 percentage points. Campos is considered the business-friendly candidate, so she’ll have to use that to draw upon Republican support to top Beall.

Toss ups

There are approximately 11 races that look as though they could go either way, with four being vacated by termed-out women. Another four are against male incumbents: Republicans Marc Steinorth, Eric Linder and Travis Allen and Democrat Miguel Santiago.  

Looking for October surprises

And there are 11 other races where women are challenging male incumbents, although these races do not appear as though they’ll be too competitive. 

5 comments

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  1. Stahnding Fast
    Stahnding Fast 26 July, 2016, 09:43

    Speaking as someone who has been and will be female all her life, and a registered voter, I can say I have never voted for any candidate because they, too, were female. I have always voted for the candidate who most closely stands for what I believe in and/or has good character even if I don’t like their politics. On a few occasions, this means I have voted for a woman. I do not believe men cannot represent me, or not do better than women at the same time. Nor do I think women can’t, either. And no, I am not looking for approval from men, nor do I have a problem with women. I think people should be promoted on merit, not on the basis of their sex, race, religion, zip code or who their parents are. Period.

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  2. Phil Ossiferz Stone
    Phil Ossiferz Stone 16 November, 2016, 14:15

    Oh goody. Let’s have an affirmative-action legislature, now.

    Reply this comment
  3. True Teacher
    True Teacher 27 December, 2016, 08:19

    The best friend for female political candidates of the Democrat variety is Planned Parenthood. This taxpayer financed political organization uses my money for its “operations,” which means “the PP affiliates” can be involved with financing pro-death females running for office. Ask Eric Linder, former state assemblyman, if PP gave money to Sabrina Cervantes. I’ve never seen a Republican whacked by a Democrat in his district like Cervantes did; she had big money on her side.

    If the taxpayer can subsidize the operations part of Planned Parenthood, that allows this terrible organization to use financial resources through affiliates who defeat legislators who would vote against PP in a heartbeat, pun intended.

    Reply this comment
  4. Ed Ryan
    Ed Ryan 4 December, 2019, 17:27

    Los Angeles City Council Member Rodrigues; You are is totally silent on the “LAPD Crimebuster Vigilante Facebook Scandal” Why do you fail to do “Good Government” oversight to stop LAPD and Los Angeles City Attorney Corruption. Read the “National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty, Regional Advocacy Project” Complaint to California Attorney General Becerra. Becerra ignores the complaint even though LAPD vigilantes may of caused the death of the homeless man who is threatened on a video posted by the LAPD vigilantes and referred to in the complaint. The video described above is available here: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1gG9GIB_lWasLfELewlM_GVMheJL4iOMu/view?usp Vigilante Facebook Postings in the complaint show nine homeless being criminal victimize by LAPD vigilantes. These nine are later arrested, but not one LAPD report tells about the vigilante “Stalking” harassment that provoked the arrest. The Los Angeles City Council should demand LAPD to identify the homeless victims whose photos are in the complaint. The Council will see that the LAPD police reports do not report the truth. No facts of the “vigilante Harassment” provoking the arrest are in the LAPD Police Reports. LA City Attorney Feuer’s Topanga Neighborhood Prosecutor uses the false LAPD reports to Convict and incarcerate the homeless shown in the complaint. The Vigilante Groups “Crime busters of our West Hills and Woodland Hills” and “Homeless Transient Encampments of our West Valley” were started by LAPD vigilante Fern Peskin-White. She is a LAPD volunteer from the Topanga Community Police Station. The participation of LAPD officers in these groups gives tacit permission to vigilante acts. Members include: LAPD Deputy Chief Kris Pitcher, former LAPD Deputy Chief John Sherman (ret. 2018), former LAPD SLO Brent Rygh (ret. 2018), LAPD Topanga At least the tobacco industry doesn’t have a coward LA Mayor Garcetti and vigilante acts by LAPD Officers who are members to the Crimebuster vigilante Facebook vigilante group Members include: LAPD Deputy Chief Kris Pitcher, former LAPD Deputy Chief John Sherman (ret. 2018), former LAPD SLO Brent Rygh (ret. 2018), LAPD Topanga Division Sergeant Karen Rayner, LAPD Senior Lead Officer (SLO) Sean Dinse, LAPD SLO Duke Dao, LAPD SLO Daryl Scoggins, LAPD SLO Gabriel Ahedo, LAPD SLO John Catalano, LAPD SLO Kari McNamee, LAPD SLO Jose Fernandez, LAPD Officer William Jones, LAPD Topanga Police Service Representative Monica Fairbanks. Why are Los Angeles City Attorney, Mike Feuer and LAPD Chief Moore allowing LAPD Brass, LAPD Slo’s and Neighborhood Prosecutors to belong to Vigilante groups. Routine false LAPD reports of homeless arrest, who are provoked by “LAPD Vigilantes”, corrupt the Los Angeles Courts. The Los Angeles City Council reputation is already soiled by cooperating with Mayor Eric Garcetti “Pay For Play” corruption at Los Angeles City Hall. Please do not make it worse by not investigating these LAPD Vigilante Hate crimes onto the homeless. Demand the LAPD supply the names of all homeless shown in the Above mentioned complaint. Then review All LAPD police reports relating to their arrest. Then ask why the LAPD police reports do not mention the
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  5. Ed Ryan
    Ed Ryan 4 December, 2019, 17:30

    Sent from Mail for Windows 10

    From: Edward Ryan
    Sent: Wednesday, November 27, 2019 7:25 PM
    To: [email protected]
    Subject: LAPD Crimebuster Vigilante Corruption

    Sir, Please put the investigation of this issue on the Council agenda for When I was a homeless in the valley these same people victimize me. I was arrested and held pre-trial for months thanks to a false LAPD police report that said nothing about the vigilante harassment that incited the entire event leading to my arrest. The LAPD did this to me and others yet no investigation by AG Becerra. The LA city Council’s duty is to protect the public from abuse like this. Beyond being physically assaulted by these LAPD vigilantes, I have been and still am being harmed by the LKAPD’s intentionally submitting a misleading police report to be used by the court to convict and incarcerate me. This is Obstruction of Justice and Fraud onto the court. I am not the only victim. In fact the man on a captured video from the Crime-buster Facebook site ids now dead. The vid shows the LASPD vigilante harassing and threatening this man, The council needs to investigate that issue to. Please do your job. I feel like this thing is being cover-upped as there has been total silence from the Council and even Mayor Garcetti I will try to link you two a comprehensive complaint of this issue filed by a nationally homeless advocacy group on 8/1/18 with the California Attorney General. To my knowledge Attorney General Becerra has totally ignored this complaint. Becerra also seems to be covering up this issue. Please knows I will also forward this to media outlets, only because I really thing something is wrong. This is not right. Besides being locked up for months in a hell hole, I now have a felony conviction on my record for acting in self defense when the Vigilantes harassed and terrorized me in the middle of the night. One of them said he was going to put a bullet in my head if I didn’t shut up. The LAPD officer told me to shut the F up when I tried to tell him what happened. In court I was told by Judge Mulcahey , Van Nuys Municipal court, that I would be sent to Patten State hospital if I didn’t stop talking about “those crazy cars’ he then mocked me and said “:I could tell my story to the doctors” My County Defender Kasy Kozel went behind my back to , and against my request, and filed paper work to send me to Patten State hospital for a competency exam on my next court date. They were going to take me from the Court house if I didn’t be quiet and plea no contest and take the deal. He did this just because I said I didn’t want to plea guilty and take 6 month jail. This was the third time I had talked with him. If I truly presented as crazy, he would have had me evaluated first thing. Kozel left the LA County Defenders 5 months ago to work with the San Fransico are defenders in the San Mataeo Courty. He knew what he did was wrong. I have a solid education and was very calm and professional all the time. At one point Kozel even called my son And my son told him I was an alcoholic but a good guy.. I was competent being well educated with no history of mental illness. At LA County jail. A social worker named ms Medina pulled me out of the pod the day before I went back to court and said the court had called the jail and of I talk about the car I will get in big trouble. She made me promise not to say anything. But why did that jail employee do such a thing, telling the truth was my entire defense. Really I was not being crazy. Judger Mulcahey even mocked me court saying he would send me to a place where “I could tell the whole to the doctor.”
    It is clear these court people send were going to shut me up by locking me a mental hospital for 6 months. This is crazy. This what they do to people in Russia to shut them up. If the LAPD is involved in doing this to people , it is wrong. My account will check out . I quickly pled no contest to the fake facts in the police report because I I was afraid of being stuck in a hospital for 8 months. Then what…The I thought they were going to shoot me, They would not stop following me as I tried to leave the area. I was forced to plea no contest to the false ;police report to get pout from under this LAPD vigilante corruption. To investigate all you have to do is have the investigator find the names of about 8 homeless people whose faces you can see on the facebook postings intercepted and made part of the complaint, certainly topanga station has this information since the these people were being targeted stalked and harassed. I assume that these same people were eventually arrested by the LAPD. Then Read the LAPD reports of the arrest
    In No report will you find any information about the arrested person being harassed by a crew of people. The postings show harassment. The arrest report never reports harassment. Also read the last 50 arrest reports of homeless persons being arrested. Not one report will mention harassment. In fact read all other reports in Topanga since the LAPD Crime buster west hills crime buster facebook group started. Not one of all the Topanga arrest reports for the last 3 years will you find any information about homeless harassment.isn’t it odd that there is now proof the crime-buster vigilantes harassed homeless for years het not one mention of harassment in any Topanga report. Next , check the prosecution files of Topanga neighborhood prosecutor apologize for being homeless in LA, I am now back on my feet, but the false criminal conviction record prevents me from job opportunities Think is not right for me and others . Please Help I can be reached at 413 863 5592 or [email protected]. Thank You
    Sincerely,
    Los Angeles City Council Member Blumenfield; You are is totally silent on the “LAPD Crimebuster Vigilante Facebook Scandal” Why do you fail to do “Good Government” oversight to stop LAPD and Los Angeles City Attorney Corruption. Read the “National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty, Regional Advocacy Project” Complaint to California Attorney General Becerra. Becerra ignores the complaint even though LAPD vigilantes may of caused the death of the homeless man who is threatened on a video posted by the LAPD vigilantes and referred to in the complaint. The video described above is available here: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1gG9GIB_lWasLfELewlM_GVMheJL4iOMu/view?usp Vigilante Facebook Postings in the complaint show nine homeless being criminal victimize by LAPD vigilantes. These nine are later arrested, but not one LAPD report tells about the vigilante “Stalking” harassment that provoked the arrest. The Los Angeles City Council should demand LAPD to identify the homeless victims whose photos are in the complaint. The Council will see that the LAPD police reports do not report the truth. No facts of the “vigilante Harassment” provoking the arrest are in the LAPD Police Reports. LA City Attorney Feuer’s Topanga Neighborhood Prosecutor uses the false LAPD reports to Convict and incarcerate the homeless shown in the complaint. The Vigilante Groups “Crime busters of our West Hills and Woodland Hills” and “Homeless Transient Encampments of our West Valley” were started by LAPD vigilante Fern Peskin-White. She is a LAPD volunteer from the Topanga Community Police Station. The participation of LAPD officers in these groups gives tacit permission to vigilante acts. Members include: LAPD Deputy Chief Kris Pitcher, former LAPD Deputy Chief John Sherman (ret. 2018), former LAPD SLO Brent Rygh (ret. 2018), LAPD Topanga At least the tobacco industry doesn’t have a coward LA Mayor Garcetti and vigilante acts by LAPD Officers who are members to the Crimebuster vigilante Facebook vigilante group Members include: LAPD Deputy Chief Kris Pitcher, former LAPD Deputy Chief John Sherman (ret. 2018), former LAPD SLO Brent Rygh (ret. 2018), LAPD Topanga Division Sergeant Karen Rayner, LAPD Senior Lead Officer (SLO) Sean Dinse, LAPD SLO Duke Dao, LAPD SLO Daryl Scoggins, LAPD SLO Gabriel Ahedo, LAPD SLO John Catalano, LAPD SLO Kari McNamee, LAPD SLO Jose Fernandez, LAPD Officer William Jones, LAPD Topanga Police Service Representative Monica Fairbanks. Why are Los Angeles City Attorney, Mike Feuer and LAPD Chief Moore allowing LAPD Brass, LAPD Slo’s and Neighborhood Prosecutors to belong to Vigilante groups. Routine false LAPD reports of homeless arrest, who are provoked by “LAPD Vigilantes”, corrupt the Los Angeles Courts. The Los Angeles City Council reputation is already soiled by cooperating with Mayor Eric Garcetti “Pay For Play” corruption at Los Angeles City Hall. Please do not make it worse by not investigating these LAPD Vigilante Hate crimes onto the homeless. Demand the LAPD supply the names of all homeless shown in the Above mentioned complaint. Then review All LAPD police reports relating to their arrest. Then ask why the LAPD police reports do not mention the
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