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Ear to the Ground

California Primary Election: GOP Gets a Leg Up, Dems Face Close Race for Waxman’s Seat

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Posted on Jun 4, 2014

  Outgoing Rep. Henry Waxman’s House seat is hot property. Modified from a United States Congress image.

Just half an hour after the polls closed in California on Tuesday night, Gov. Jerry Brown was so sure of his status as the clear leader in the Golden State’s gubernatorial sweepstakes that he made a victory speech at the governor’s mansion. Those vying for Rep. Henry Waxman’s seat, however, weren’t granted that kind of confidence.

Brown, who has presided (this time around) over Sacramento politics since 2010 outstripped his closest contender, Republican Neel Kashkari, with 54.5 percent of the vote compared with Kashkari’s 19 percent tally.

Those not seized by the American mainstream media’s epidemic short-term memory syndrome (or MSMESMS, for short) may recall that Kashkari played a part in the Great Bailout of ’08, serving as interim assistant secretary of the Treasury for financial stability from October 2008 to May 2009. Although this was one of the state’s worst-attended primary elections in recent history, Kashkari will likely have a hard time winning the chance to bring his brand of financial stability to California in November’s general election.

In the crowded contest for the 33rd Congressional District, the seat long held by Rep. Henry Waxman, Republican Elan Carr took the top spot with 21.5 percent, no doubt aided by the sheer number of candidates—18 in all, 15 of whom do not share his party affiliation.

The Los Angeles Times broke down the returns on Wednesday morning:

With all precincts reporting, some high profile races remained too close to call Wednesday morning. Final outcomes could be days, or weeks, away as county election officials across California continue to tally late-arriving and provisional ballots.

In the race for state controller, Republican Fresno Mayor Ashley Swearengin topped a strong field. In the race for second place, and a spot on the November ballot, just a few thousand votes separate Assemblyman John A. Pérez (D-Los Angeles); Betty Yee, a Democratic Board of Equalization member; and little-known Republican David Evans, a former California City mayor.

In the race to replace retiring Rep. Henry A. Waxman (D-Beverly Hills), Republican gang prosecutor Elan Carr narrowly led a crowded field seeking to represent the strongly Democratic Westside/South Bay seat.

State Sen. Ted Lieu (D-Torrance) leads former Democratic Los Angeles Controller Wendy Greuel in the race for the second spot on November ballot, but the two are separated by just a few thousand votes.

For a complete list of California primary election results, click here.

—Posted by Kasia Anderson

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