Gov. Gavin Newsom is expected to cruise to reelection victory Tuesday, Nov. 8, while most other Democrat incumbents in statewide posts are also strong favorites to maintain their jobs.
Newsom is being challenged by Republican Brian Dahle, a state Senator representing the 1st District, which includes portions of 11 Northern California counties. Dahle is fighting an admittedly uphill battle. A Republican has not won a statewide office in California since Arnold Schwarzenegger became governor.
Newsom, who has been governor since 2019, has not been actively campaigning for re-election, focusing his efforts instead on supporting Democrats up and down the state, along with rallying voters in support of Proposition 1, which would codify the right to an abortion in the state constitution. The race could be indicative of other statewide offices on Tuesday, with all but the controller’s office occupied by incumbent Democrats, all of whom are likely to cruise to reelection.
On Tuesday’s ballot:
— Lt. Gov. Eleni Kounalakis is being challenged by Republican Angela E. Underwood Jacobs, a former Lancaster city councilmember and deputy mayor;
— Secretary of State Shirley Weber is squaring off against Republican Rob Bernosky;
— Treasurer Fiona Ma is facing Republican Jack M. Guerrero; and
— Attorney General Rob Bonta is being challenged by Republican Nathan Hochman.
Sen. Alex Padilla, D-California, appears on the ballot twice, both times facing Republican Mark Meuser, a constitutional law attorney from Pasadena. The first ballot item is for Padilla — who was appointed to fill the seat previously occupied by Kamala Harris when she became vice president — to serve out the remainder of the current term, which expires at the end of the year. The second is for a fresh six-year term in the seat.
The controller’s race is seen by some observers as the one in which a Republican could feasibly claim victory. The office is up for grabs, since Betty Yee is termed out. In the June primary, Republican Lanhee Chen finished first in a field of six candidates that included four Democrats and a Green Party candidate. He’ll be squaring off Tuesday, Nov. 8, against second-place finisher Malia M. Cohen, a Democrat and chair of the state Board of Equalization.