Dozens of local officials elected to state office

It has long been commonplace for city and county governments to act as a bench for future state and federal elected office. These municipal positions offer an opportunity to build the leadership experience, name recognition, and networking that is necessary for a legitimate campaign for higher office.

Today, CaliforniaCityNews brings you exclusive insight into the 24 elections in which local government officials prevailed in their bids for positions in the California State Assembly, Senate, and US Congress.

See below for a complete list of winners!

CA State Assembly

AD 02- Oceanside Mayor, Jim Wood, will succeed former Assembly Member Wesley Chesbro. Wood received 63.8% of the votes, nearly 40 points ahead of Republican candidate Matt Heath.

AD 03- Sutter County Supervisor, James Gallagher, ran in this safe Republican seat against Democratic candidate and small business owner, Jim Reed. Gallagher won with 63.1% of the votes.

AD 04- Napa County Supervisor, Bill Dodd, won this Safe Democratic seat. With Dodd’s $451,588 on hand to Shaupp’s $4,823, and a 20% voter registration advantage, this was not a competitive election.

AD 07- Two Sacramento city council members went head-to-head in the 7thAssembly District. Kevin McCarty emerged victorious, with about 8,000 votes more than opponent Steve Cohn.

AD 09- In this classic local government battle, Elk Grove City Council Member,Jim Cooper, defeated opponent and Sacramento City Council Member, Darrell Fong, for the 9th Assembly District. Cooper had over $60,000 more on hand in this Dem-on-Dem race.

AD 17- Seeing as the two candidates share a first name, party registration, local government history, and an alma mater, this race essentially boiled down to the turnout rate of San Francisco’s strongest demographics: Asian, Latino and gay voters. Ultimately, SF Supervisor David Chiu, a Cleveland native born to Taiwanese immigrants received nearly 3,000 more votes than SF Supervisor David Campos, who was born in Guatemala prior to “immigrating illegally to Los Angeles at age 14.”

AD 25- San Jose City Council Member, Kansen Chu, was a shoo-in for this safe Democratic seat. Chu earned top votes with 30.6% of the vote in the June Primary and won with 68.5% of the votes over Republican Bob Brunton.

AD 28- Campbell City Council Member, Evan Low, was favored to beat Saratoga City Council Member, Chuck Page in this safe-Democrat seat. Low won with 58.5% of the votes.

AD 33- Big Bear Lake City Council Member, Jay Obernolte was the likely winner of this safe Republican district. Obernolte won with over 18,000 more votes that opponent John Coffey.

AD 40- Marc Steinorth, a Republican candidate who hails from the Rancho Cucamonga City Council, beat Democratic candidate and former San Bernardino Community College Board Member, Kathleen Henry in Tuesday night’s election. Despite a dead-even partisan split among voters, Steinorth received nearly 56.4% of the vote.

AD 44- Thousand Oaks City Council Member, Jacqui Irwin defeated local pastor and businessman, Rob McCoy. With less than a 5 percent difference between registered Democrats and Republicans, the race was too close to call before Election Day. Irwin prevailed with about 2,000 more votes.

AD 53- LA Community College Board Member, Miguel Santiago, won this Dem-on-Dem race. Santiago received nearly 7,000 more votes than his opponent, Sandra Mendoza. 

AD 55- Diamond Bar City Council Member, Ling-Ling Chang is the newest member of the 55th Assembly District. Despite a close primary election, Chang swept the election with over 63% of the overall vote.

AD 56- Coachella City Council Member Eduardo Garcia is set to succeed V. Manuel Perez in this safe Democratic seat. Owing in part to a 15% Democratic voter registration advantage, and a significant fundraising lead over his Republican opponent, Garcia ended Tuesday night with a 13-point lead.

AD 64- Carson City Council Member, Mike Gipson earned over 64% on Tuesday, unsurprisingly, considering his significant fundraising lead prior to and since the June primary.

AD 70- Long Beach City Council Member Patrick O’Donnell is set to replace incumbent Bonnie Lowenthal, who is terming out this year. O’Donnell earned 63% of the vote in Tuesday’s election.

AD 73- Dana Point City Council Member William Brough was a shoo-in to this safe Republican seat. Earning 68% of the vote on Tuesday, Brough is set to succeed Board of Equalization Member-elect Diane Harkey, who termed out of her Assembly seat this year.

AD 74- Huntington Beach City Council Member, Matthew Harper faced Newport Beach City Council Member, Keith Curry on Tuesday for this safe Republican seat. Despite less than a 3% margin of separation in the June primary, Harper ended Tuesday night with a 20-point lead on his opponent.

CA State Senate

SD 02-Sonoma County Supervisor Mike McGuire blew his opponent out of the water on Tuesday’s election, earning 68.7% of the vote.

SD 26- Santa Monica-Malibu USD Trustee, Ben Allen earned top votes in June’s primary election and an astounding 20-point lead over opponent Sandra Fluke, who had gained national attention as an outspoken productive rights activist.

SD 28- Riverside County Supervisor, Jeff Stone ended Tuesday night’s election with a 7-point lead over opponent Bonnie Garcia. Both Republican candidates were within 2 percentage points in the June primary.

SD 34- Despite a 5-point Democratic registration advantage, Orange County Supervisor Janet Nguyen earned a hefty 20% more of the overall vote on Tuesday than her opponent, Jose Solorio.

SD 36- Orange County Supervisor Patricia Bates will succeed Senator Joel Anderson. Bates ran unopposed in the June primary, and faced Democrat write-in candidate, Gary Kephart in Tuesday’s election, where she earned over 66% of the vote.


CD 31- On election night, Redlands City Council Member, Pete Aguilar, finished 2 points higher than opponent Paul Chabot. Once results are verified, he will be poised to take over former Congressman Gary Miller’s seat, whose resignation earlier this year from one of the most targeted elections in the nation shocked many.