Several Asian Pacific American candidates were on the ballot in the June 5 California primary, with mixed results. They include the following:
A total of 27 candidates competed for the top two spots in the battle to succeed termed-out Gov. Jerry Brown (D). As expected, Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) finished in first place with 1,349,005 votes (33.4 percent) and advanced to the November election. Second place went to Republican businessman John Cox, who has been endorsed by President Trump, with 1,058,659 (26.2 percent).
Former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa (D) was in third place with 544,456 (13.5 percent), followed by Assemblymember Travis Allen (R) with 392,077 (9.7 percent), State Treasurer John Chiang (D) with 362,426 (9 percent) and former Superintendent of Public Education Delaine Eastin (D) with 118,422 (2.9 percent).
“When we began this campaign two years ago, we knew it would be an uphill battle,” Chiang said a statement. “And while we may not be able to celebrate the victory we had hoped for tonight, we built a grassroots army we can all be proud of.
“We were up against incredible odds and a flood of special interest spending that totaled nearly $30 million from outside groups, yet we still challenged the front-runners up until the very end. We can hold our heads up high and know we never sacrificed our values because honesty and integrity matter.
“I’m proud of what we accomplished over the course of this campaign, and I hope you are too. Thank you for all your support. It means more to me than you know.”
Republican Peter Yuan Liu, an insurance agent and former candidate for Oakland mayor, was in ninth place with 18,260 (0.5 percent).
Betty Yee, the Democratic incumbent, received 60.9 percent of the vote (2,306,010). She was challenged by Republican Konstantinos Roditis, an entrepreneur, who received 1,325,178 (35 percent), and retired educator Mary Lou Finley of the Peace and Freedom Party, who received 154,287 (4.1 percent). Yee was first elected to the office in 2014, replacing Chiang. Previously, she was elected to the Board of Equalization in 2006.
Advancing to the runoff to succeed Chiang are Democrat Fiona Ma, a member of the Board of Equalization, with 1,641,114 (43.2 percent), and Republican businessman and CPA Greg Conlon with 834,917 (22 percent). Also running were Cudahy City Councilmember Jack Guerrero (R) with 749,401 (19.7 percent); Democrat Vivek Viswanathan, an advisor in the Governor’s Office, with 485,572 (12.8 percent); and retired steam engineer Kevin Akin of the Peace and Freedom Party with 84,832 (2.2 percent). Ma was elected to the Board of Equalization in 2014 and previously served in the State Assembly and on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors.
“I’m running for treasurer to make sure our state works for everyone,” said Ma. “As treasurer, I will make sure we have access to the capital necessary to complete the projects Californians deserve while also helping to create good jobs and keep our economy growing. This includes securing the financing necessary for California’s infrastructure projects — transportation, public schools, housing, water quality, and pollution reduction.”
Ma is seeking to be the 10th woman and sixth Asian American to be elected to statewide office in California.
Running in the fall to succeed Democrat Dave Jones (who ran for attorney general) as insurance commissioner are businessman Steve Poizner (no party preference), who received 1,509,758 (41.3 percent), and State Sen. Ricardo Lara (D), who received 1,486,843 (40.6 percent), Pulmonologist Dr. Asif Mahmood (D) was third with 475,709 (13 percent) and public school teacher Nathalie Hrizi (Peace and Freedom) was fourth with 185,848 (5.1 percent).
Board of Equalization
Running in the fall for the District 2 seat, currently held by Ma, are San Francisco Supervisor Malia Cohen (D), who received 374,319 (36.2 percent) and realtor Mark Burns (R), who received 295,742 (28.6 percent). State Sen. Cathleen Galgiani was third with 270,349 (26.1 percent) and Cupertino Mayor Barry Chang (D) was fourth with 93,595 (9.1 percent).
Out of eight candidates for the District 3 seat, the top two finishers were Republican chief financial officer G. Rick Marshall with 224,493 (27.3 percent) and Santa Monica City Councilmember Tony Vazquez (D) with 170,779 (20.8 percent). Auditor and reserve policeman Ben Pak (D) was in seventh place with 38,205 (3.4 percent).
Democratic incumbent Dianne Feinstein was the top vote-getter with 1,702,445 (43.8 percent), followed by a fellow Democrat, State Senate President Kevin de Leon, with 438,352 (11.3 percent). The 32 candidates included teacher, businessman and engineer Arun Bhumitra (R) with 206,902 (5.3 percent), Wells ARK founder and chief editor Ling Ling Shi (no party preference) with 14,169 (0.4 percent), and water scientist and civil rights activist Rash B. Ghosh (no party preference) with 6,956 (0.2 percent).
U.S. House of Representatives
6th Congressional District: Rep. Doris Matsui (D-Sacramento) received 40,949 (87.1 percent) while her Democratic challenger, Jrmar Jefferson, received 6,062 (12.9 percent). Matsui was first elected in 2005.
7th District: Rep. Ami Bera (D-Sacramento) received 34,122 (51.6 percent), followed by Republican CEO Andrew Grant with 21,753 (32.9 percent). Also running were cancer surgeon Yona Barash (R), 8,087 (12.2 percent); software developer Robert Christian “Chris” Richardson (Green), 1,249 (1.9 percent); and aerospace mechanical worker Reginald Claytor (no party preference), 865 (1.3 percent). Bera was first elected in 2012.
12th District (San Francisco): House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D), who had six challengers, was far in the lead with 86,696 (68.5 percent), followed by Republican Lisa Remmer with 12,613 (10 percent). Lawyer, advocate and artist Shahid Buttar (D) was third with 9,809 (7.8 percent).
16th District: Rep. Jim Costa (D-Fresno) received 24,139 (52.9 percent). He is being challenged by Republican Elizabeth Heng, a small business owner, who received 21,491 (47.1 percent).
17th District (parts of Santa Clara and Alameda counties): Democratic incumbent Ro Khanna received 36,379 (59.1 percent), followed by Republican Ron Cohen with 15,233 (24.8 percent). Democrat Khanh Tran was third with 4,670 (7.6 percent), followed by Democratic and Libertarian candidates. Khanna defeated Democratic incumbent Mike Honda in 2016.
22nd District: Incumbent Devin Nunes (R-Clovis), chair of the House Intelligence Committee, received 42,554 (57.9 percent). He will be in a runoff with Andrew Janz, a Thai American deputy district attorney in Fresno County, who received 23,555 (32 percent). Another Asian American Democrat, Bobby Bliatout, the CEO of Fresno-based community clinics, was third with 3,411 (4.6 percent), followed by Democratic, Libertarian and no-party-preference candidates.
27th District (parts of Los Angeles and San Bernardino counties): Incumbent Judy Chu (D-Pasadena) received 54,677 (82.7 percent). She was challenged by Democrat Bryan Witt, a railroad operations supervisor, who received 11,441 (17.3 percent). Chu, who was first elected in 2009, is chair of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus.
30th District (San Fernando Valley): Incumbent Brad Sherman (D-Sherman Oaks) received 50,648 (61.4 percent), followed by Republican Mark Reed with 23,543 (28.5 percent). Democratic challenger Raji Rab, an aviator and educator, was third with 4,218 (5.1 percent) and Democrat Jon Pelzer as fourth with 4,135 (5 percent).
31st District: Incumbent Pete Aguilar (D-Redlands) received 25,969 (45.8 percent), followed by Republican Sean Flynn with 26,052 (45.9 percent). Democrat Kaisar Ahmed, a retired teacher, was out of contention with 4,696 (8.3 percent).
33rd District (western Los Angeles County): Incumbent Ted Lieu (D-Manhattan Beach) received 62,714 (60.7 percent), followed by Republican Kenneth Weston Wright, a physician and professor, with 32,368 (31.3 percent). Democrat Emory Rodgers, a human rights advocate, was third with 8,219 (8 percent). Lieu was first elected in 2014.
39th District, currently represented by Rep. Ed Royce (R-Fullerton), who is retiring: Among 17 candidates, the top vote-getter was former Assemblymember Young Kim (R) with 18,637 (21.9 percent), followed by Democrat Gil Cisneros, a Navy veteran and philanthropist, with 16,506 (19.4 percent). Other candidates included Mai Khanh Tran (D), a doctor, mother and teacher, 4,133 (4.9 percent); Herbert H. Lee (D), a physician and associate professor, 3,492 (4.1 percent); and Suzi Park Leggett (D), widow of Rep. Robert Leggett, 1,284 (1.5 percent). Kim is a former aide to Royce, who endorsed her.
“I am truly humbled by the vast support that we received from across the 39th District,” Kim said in a statement. “It is clear that voters want someone who will truly represent their voice in Congress and has a proven independent record delivering results that matter to the people of this district.”
41st District: Incumbent Mark Takano (D-Riverside) received 23,945 (56.9 percent). His Republican challenger is Air Force veteran Aja Smith, who received 18,119 (43.1 percent). Takano was first elected in 2012.
45th District: Incumbent Mimi Walters (R-Irvine) received 52,098 (53.2 percent), followed by Democrat Katie Porter with 19,453 (19.9 percent). Democrat Dave Min was third with 16,854 (17.2 percent), followed by two Democrats and a no-party-preference candidate. Both Porter and Min are law professors at UC Irvine.
48th District (Orange County coast): Incumbent Dana Rohrabacher (R-Costa Mesa) was on top with 31,886 (30.3 percent). Among his 15 challengers, two are vying for second place: Democrats Harley Rouda with 18,182 (17.3 percent) and Hans Keirstead with 18,109 (17.2 percent). Democratic attorney Omar Siddiqui, who has worked with the FBI and CIA to build bridges with the Islamic community in the region, received 5,110 (4.9 percent).
50th District (much of San Diego County and portions of Riverside County): Incumbent Duncan Hunter (R-Alpine) received 43,233 (48.7 percent) and will face off with Democrat Ammar Campa-Najjar, who received 14,445 (16.3 percent). Republican S. “Shamus” Sayed of Interpreters Unlimited placed second to last with 1,846 (2.1 percent). Also running were two Democrats, a Republican and a no-party-preference candidate.
53rd District: Incumbent Susan Davis (D-San Diego) received 54,481 (62.4 percent), followed by Republican Morgan Murtaugh with 13,142 (15 percent). Also in the running were an independent candidate, community organizer Bryan Kim, who tied for last place with 1,863 (2.1 percent), and three Republicans.
4th Senate District: Incumbent James Nielsen (R-Tehama) received 67,849 (60.6 percent). He will be in a runoff with Citrus Heights community organizer Phillip Kim (D), who received 23,196 (20.7 percent). Kim was a staffer with the presidential campaign of Sen. Bernie Sanders.
6th District: Incumbent Richard Pan (D-Sacramento) received 43,478 (64.5 percent), followed by independent candidate Eric Frame, a business owner, with 9,810 (14.6 percent). Also running were Democrat Jacob Mason (7,138, 10.6 percent) and Libertarian Janine DeRose (6,977, 10.4 percent). Pan was elected in 2014.
22nd District (San Gabriel Valley): Among four Democrats are running to succeed Sen. Ed Hernandez (D), who is running for lieutenant governor, college teacher Mike Eng was in first place with 24,377 (43.9 percent), followed by Baldwin Park city Councilmember Susan Rubio with 15,133 (27.3 percent). Also running were Baldwin Park City Councilmember Monica Garcia (11,662, 21 percent) and public health advocate Ruben Sierra (4,340, 7.8 percent). Eng, the husband of Rep. Judy Chu, previously served on the Los Angeles Community College District Board of Trustees and in the State Assembly.
24th District: Democrats Peter Choi, CEO of the Temple City Chamber of Commerce, and Maria Elena Durazo, a union vice president, are vying to succeed Sen. Kevin de Leon, who is running for U.S. Senate. Durazo received 40,360 (70.1 percent) to Choi’s 17,218 (29.9 percent).
29th District: Incumbent Josh Newman (D-Fullerton) — whose term expires in December 2020 — faced a recall over his support for a bill increasing gas tax and vehicle fees to pay for road and bridge repairs and mass transit improvements. There were more “yes” votes than “no” votes, 55,539 (59.5 percent) to 37,850 (40.5 percent). Also on the ballot were six candidates for the seat, three Republicans and three Democrat, in case the recall was successful. One of the Republicans is former Assemblymember Ling Ling Chang, who was the top vote-getter with 30,503 (34.2 percent). She narrowly lost to Newman in 2016. Prior to being elected to the Assembly in 2014, she served on the Diamond Bar City Council.
Another Republican candidate was veteran and businessman George Shen, who received 4,561 (51 percent). One of the Democrats was former Cerritos Mayor Joseph Cho, who was in second place with 17,962 (20.1 percent). Cho, who was born in Japan to a Korean family, opposed the recall but said a progressive Democrat should be ready to replace Newman if he is ousted.
“Voters in SD29 sent a strong message to Sacramento by recalling Democrat Josh Newman and voted in Republican Ling Ling Chang for State Senate 2018!” the California Republican Party said in a statement. “Congratulations on your HUGE victory!”
“It was a great disappointment that outside forces of the Republican Party were able to recall a state senator, who was doing his job and doing it well,” said Jeff LeTourneau, vice chairman of North Orange County for the Orange County Democratic Party. “We’ll see what happens in November. We’ll get it back.”
32nd District (Gateway Cities region in southeastern Los Angeles County): Eight Democrats and three Republicans competed for the seat left vacant by the resignation of Sen. Tony Mendoza (D-Artesia) due to sexual misconduct allegations, with Mendoza himself among them. The top vote-getters were Republican Rita Topalian (20,077, 24.6 percent) and Democrat Bob Archuleta (14,564, 17.8 percent). Artesia City Councilmember Ali Sajjad Taj (D) received 4,162 (5.1 percent).
34th District (parts of Long Beach and Orange County): Republican incumbent Janet Nguyen received 49,501 (59.1 percent), followed by Democrat Tom Umberg, a small business owner, with 22,219 (26.5 percent). Also running were Democratsw Jestin Samson (7,249, 8.7 percent) and Akash Hawkins (4,832, 5.8 percent). Nguyen, who previously served on the Orange County Board of Supervisors, was elected in 2014.
9th Assembly District: Incumbent Jim Cooper (D-Elk Grove) received 20,700 (67.6 percent). Fellow Democrat Harry He, a small business IT manager in Sacramento and a licensed real estate agent, was second with 5,038 (16.5 percent), followed by Democrat Mario Garcia with 4,878 (15.9 percent).
14th District: Incumbent Tim Grayson (D-Concord) received 40,899 (84.3 percent). His challenger is fellow Democrat Aasim Yahya, a student at Concord High School, who received 7,608 (15.7 percent).
15th District (includes the East Bay cities of Alameda and Contra Costa counties): A dozen candidates sought to replace Tony Thurmond (D-Richmond), who is running for state superintendent of public instruction. The top vote-getters were Democrats Buffy Wicks with 18,049 (31.1 percent) and Dan Kalb with 8,650 (14.9 percent). Other Democratic hopefuls included El Cerrito Mayor Pro Tem Rochelle Pardue-Okimoto (4,926, 8.5 percent), who was endorsed by Thurmond, and software engineer Sergey Vikramsingh Piterman (398, 0.7 percent). The lone Republican candidate, UC Berkeley student Pranav Jandhyala, received 3,889 (6.7 percent).
17th District: Incumbent David Chiu (D-San Francisco) received 57,614 (81.5 percent) while his Democratic challenger, small business entrepreneur Alejandro Fernandez, received 13,097 (18.5 percent). Chiu was first elected in 2014.
18th District: Incumbent Rob Bonta (D-Oakland) received 40,982 (87.6 percent). His Republican challenger is electrical contractor Stephen Slauson (5,792, 12.4 percent). Bonta was first elected in 2012 and chairs the Asian Pacific Islander Legislative Caucus.
19th District: Incumbent Phil Ting (D-San Francisco) received 50,919 (79.4 percent) and Republican Keith Bogdon, a biotech marketing consultant, received 10,723 (16.7 percent). No-party-preference candidate David Ernst was third with 2,490 (3.9 percent). Ting was first elected in 2012.
25th District: Incumbent Kansen Chu (D-San Jose) received 18,593 (49.7 percent), followed by Republican Bob Brunton, a small business owner (9,319, 24.9 percent). Also running were Democrat Carmen Montano (8,332, 22.3 percent) and Libertarian Robert Imhoff (1,157, 3.1 percent). Chu was first elected in 2014.
27th District: Incumbent Ash Kalra (D-San Jose) ran unopposed and received 29,129 votes. He was first elected in 2016.
28th District: Incumbent Evan Low (D-Campbell) received 39,869 (68.7 percent). His Republican challenger is elementary school teacher Michael Snyder (18,183, 31.3 percent). Low was first elected in 2014.
34th District: Incumbent Vince Fong (R-Bakersfield) received 45,657 (77.2 percent). His Democratic challenger is audio engineer Nick Nicita (13,491, 22.8 percent). Fong was first elected in 2016.
45th District: Six Democrats and one Republican ran to succeed Matt Dababneh (D-Encino), who resigned due to sexual harassment allegations. The top vote-getters were Democrat Jesse Gabriel with 19,090 (41.9 percent) and Republican Justin Clark with 15,291 (33.5 percent). The other five Democrats included school community coordinator Ankur Patel (2,729, 6 percent).
49th District: Incumbent Ed Chau (D-Monterey Park) received 22,545 (68.3 percent). His Republican challenger is retired sheriff’s sergeant Burton Brink (10,467, 31.7 percent). Chau was first elected in 2012.
53rd District: Incumbent Miguel Santiago (D-Los Angeles) received 15,513 (69.8 percent), followed by Democrat Kevin Hee Young Jang, an attorney and businessman, with 3,551 (16 percent). Also running were Libertarian Michael Lewis (1,732, 7.8 percent) and Democrat Rae Elisabeth Henry (1,431, 6.4 percent).
55th District: Incumbent Phillip Chen (R-Brea) received 25,726 (46.7 percent), followed by Democrat Gregg Fritchle, a social worker, with 12,279 (22.3 percent). Also running were Democrat Melissa Fazli (8,639, 15.7 percent), and Republicans James Gerbus (6,151, 11.2 percent) and Scott Lebda (2,250, 4.1 percent). Chen was first elected in 2016.
66th District (South Bay): Incumbent Al Muratsuchi (D-Torrance) received 29,934 (49 percent). His Republican challenger will be former Torrance Mayor Frank Scotto, who received 27,566 (45.2 percent). Democrat Caney Arnold was third with 3,546 (5.8 percent). Muratsuchi was elected in 2012, defeated in 2014, and elected again in 2016.
68th District: Incumbent Steven Choi (R-Irvine) received 34,400 (60.2 percent). His Democratic challenger is Michelle Duman, a businesswoman and nonprofit advisor (22,786, 39.8 percent). Choi was first elected in 2016.
72nd District: Four Republicans and one Democrat competed to replace Travis Allen (R-Huntington Beach), who ran for governor. The top two finishers were Democrat Josh Lowenthal with 20,761 (36.8 percent) and Republican Tyler Diep, a Westminster city councilman and Huntington Beach businessman, with 16,683 (29.6 percent). Also running were Republicans Greg Haskin (11,512, 20.4 percent), Long Pham (4,491, 8 percent), and Richard Laird (2,945, 5.2 percent).
74th District: Incumbent Matthew Harper (R-Huntington Beach) received 27,448 (41.4 percent), followed by Democrat Cottie Petrie-Norris with 18,634 (28.1 percent). Also running were Democrat Karina Onofre (8,117, 12.2 percent), Republican Katherine Daigle (7,606, 11.5 percent), and Democrat Ryan Ta (4,546, 6.9 percent).