The California Target Book released its August "hot sheet"
listing potential competitive seats throughout the state legislature. Well, two can play at this game. Here are the competitive seats as I see them and a little precis about them:State Senate
1. SD-19. Hannah-Beth Jackson
(D) v. Tony Strickland (R). Sadly, thanks to Don Perata's bungling and undermining this is likely to be the only competitive race out of the 20 up for election in the state Senate. The good news is that it would be an absolute sea change to replace Tom McClintock with a true progressive like Hannah-Beth Jackson. With Ventura County's registration flipping to Democrats over the past year, Ronald Reagan country is no longer solidly red. Hannah-Beth has been actively courting voters at community events (there's a BBQ in honor of the "Gap" firefighters
on Sunday) and she's wrapped up lots of endorsements. With this being the only competitive race, expect it to be costly, as both sides throw millions into capturing the seat. A win here would put us one seat away from a 2/3 majority in the Senate.State Assembly
1. AD-80. Manuel Perez
(D) v. Gary Jeandron (R). Perez appears to have the right profile for this plurality-Democratic seat currently held by the termed-out Bonnie Garcia. The most recent poll showed him with a double-digit lead
, and he's consolidating his support by earning the endorsements of the local Stonewall Democratic Club and his primary rival Greg Pettis. This race is looking strong, and hopefully the raising of performance among Hispanic voters will aid Julie Bornstein in her CA-45 race against Mary Bono.
2. AD-78. Marty Block
(D) vs. John McCann (R). Block, a Board of Trustees member at San Diego Community College and former dean at San Diego State University, also has a favorable registration advantage in his race against Chula Vista Councilmember John McCann. This should be a case of party ID sweeping in a lawmaker in a progressive wave thanks to increased turnout for the Presidential election. Block needs to do his part, of course, in making the case that the 2/3 majority is vital for responsible governance.
3. AD-15. Joan Buchanan
(D) v. Abram Wilson (R). After a bruising primary, San Ramon Mayor Wilson has barely survived to defend the seat held by Guy Houston against San Ramon Valley school board member Buchanan, who did not have a competitive primary. She has outraised Wilson by almost 2 to 1
so far in the race and the registration numbers are about even. I think we have a real chance here.
4. AD-30. Fran Florez
(D) v. Danny Gilmore (R). This is currently a Democratic seat held by Yacht Dog Nicole Parra, who has practically endorsed the Republican Gilmore for the seat. That's unhelpful, but in a Democratic year Gilmore has an uphill climb. The California Faculty Association has targeted Gilmore
in their ads that campaign on the budget, and voters in the Central Valley are fleeing the GOP in droves
. Gilmore has a shot, but I think Florez is in a comfortable position.
5. AD-10. Alyson Huber
(D) vs. Jack Sieglock (R). Huber, about to hold her campaign kick-off
this weekend, is in a district that is rapidly changing. Registration has shifted over 3% in just two years. This is a race in the Sacramento area that Randy Bayne
covers intently, and he's fairly high on Huber. Jack Sieglock is your basic Republican rubber stamp that puts "conservative Republican" in his title, and I'm not certain the district is still organized that way. This race is also seeing ads from the California Faculty Association.
6: AD-26. John Eisenhut
(D) v. William Berryhill (R). This is Greg Aghazarian's old seat, also in northern California in Stanislaus and San Joaquin counties. Stanislaus recently flipped to Democrats, and Eisenhut, a local almond farmer, fits the profile of the district pretty well. Berryhill, whose brother Tom is in the Assembly, is also a farmer, and is banking on the Berryhill name ID to win. There's a good synopsis of the race here
. Democrats actually have the registration edge in this district.
7. AD-36. Linda Jones
(D) v. Steve Knight (R). Linda is a teacher, school board member and former vocational nurse. This is an outside shot, but I'm told that the Palmdale-area seat is turning around and may accept a Democrat this time around.
8. AD-59. Donald Williamson
(D) v. Anthony Adams (R). Adams is actually an incumbent, making this a more difficult battle. But Bill Postmus' explosion in San Bernardino county has soured the reputation of Republicans in the district, and Williamson, the San Bernardino County assessor, has a decent profile in the district. This is certainly on the far outside edge of being competitive.
9. AD-37. Ferial Masry (D) v. Audra Strickland (R). This is another Republican incumbent, and it's in the same relative district as SD-19 - in fact, the Republicans in both races are Stricklands. So maybe there will be a residual effect to Hannah-Beth Jackson's efforts. Masry, an Arab-American, has been getting good press
in the district and definitely has an outside chance.
Labels: 2/3 requirement, AD-10, AD-15, AD-26, AD-30, AD-36, AD-37, AD-59, AD-78, AD-80, California, legislature, SD-19