Analysis: June 2014 Primary Election
from the CFA Political Action Team

June 10, 2014

Here is a run-down of some notable June 3 primary races involving CFA-endorsed candidates.

Tom Torlakson, incumbent for State Superintendent of Public Instruction

The incumbent Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson led a three-way race with 46.9 percent of the vote. In November, Torlakson will face corporate education reformer and school privatizer Marshall Tuck, who came in second with 28.6 percent..

Funding for Tuck comes from so-called “school-reform” advocates pushing charter schools, many of whom have deep pockets like billionaire Eli Broad.

We should not take anything for granted. CFA will support Torlakson this fall along with the California Teachers Association and many other unions and public school supporters.

Tim Sbranti, running for Assembly in AD 16

Big win for us and all of labor!!!

Republican attorney Catharine Baker and Tim Sbranti, the Democratic mayor of Dublin, will face off on the November ballot after this wildly expensive East Bay Assembly primary race. This leaves Steve Glazer, a CSU Trustee and more importantly an anti-worker Democrat, behind.

We have been fighting tooth and nail along with our labor allies to help Sbranti. The race between Glazer and Sbranti was the culmination of many years of concentrated effort by the business lobby to see if an anti-union Democrat could win.

Baker, a Dublin resident, led with more than 36 percent of the vote; Sbranti had nearly 30 percent for second place while Glazer got about 22 percent.

At the center of the race was Glazer’s opposition to BART workers’ ability to strike, a right that Sbranti, a teacher and leader in the California Teachers Association, supports as do many others in the Bay Area. 

Bob Wieckowski, incumbent running for Assembly in AD 25

Elsewhere in the Bay Area, CFA backed Democratic Assemblyman Bob Wieckowski of Fremont was the strong favorite among voters and Wieckowski and Republican businessman Peter Kuo of Santa Clara County will head to the General Election.

Democrat Mary Hayashi, a former Castro Valley Assemblywoman, lost her bid to resurrect her political career.

Connie Leyva, running for State Senate in SD 20

Another big labor win—and intra-party battle among four Democrats—is in the strongly Democratic Senate District 20 in Southern California, which stretches from Colton and western San Bernardino to Pomona.

The sole Republican candidate, Matthew Munson, a retail clerk, led the primary with 32.3 percent.

Connie Leyva is president of in United Food & Commercial Workers 1428 and president of the California Labor Federation. Leyva and Alfonso Sanchez, were in a fight for the second slot on the November Election ballot. Connie took it with 21.1 percent; a huge win for labor given her opponent was supported by the business lobby, making this race similar to the Sbranti vs Glazer race up north. Again, a big win for CFA and labor.

Steve Fox, incumbent for Assembly in AD 36

Incumbent Steve Fox was able to protect his seat in a very difficult race with a very low voter turnout during a non-president election year. He faced off against Highway Patrol Sargent Tom Lackey. Fox won by just 145 votes in Los Angeles County’s Antelope Valley two years ago.

Dr. Richard Pan, running for State Senate in SD 6

Two Democratic Assemblymembers, Roger Dickinson and Richard Pan, are preparing for an expensive General Election battle as both seek the Senate District 6 seat held by termed-out President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg.

We have two great candidates in this race.

CFA has endorsed Pan, who is a UC professor and a long-time supporter of CFA and the CSU. He came to the picket line at CSU East Bay during the one-day strike there in 2011 and he has authored CFA-sponsored bills.

Jose Solorio, running for State Senate in SD 34

Both political parties are focusing on an Orange County Senate seat being vacated by termed-out Democratic Sen. Lou Correa. Democrats enjoy a slight edge in voter registration there.

Republican Janet Nguyen, a member of the Orange County Board of Supervisors, is leading former Democratic Assemblyman Jose Solorio in the Primary. Solario authored AB 2487, the Early Start bill and is endorsed by CFA.

Democratic offensive! Jacqui Irwin, running for Assembly in AD 44

Democrat Jacqui Irwin, a Thousand Oaks City Council member, and Republican Rob McCoy, a conservative pastor, will move on to the November Election for a swing at the Ventura County Assembly seat.

AD 44, which is being vacated by Assemblyman Jeff Gorell (R-Camarillo) as he runs for Congress, is almost evenly split in registration between Democrats and Republicans: 37% to 35%, respectively, with 22% of voters stating no party preference.

The more moderate of the two GOP candidates lost his bid which helps Jacqui Irwin, our candidate in this race!

Notes on other GOP-contested races:

State Senate 14: In the new 14th State Senate District, Sen. Andy Vidak (R-Hanford) is ahead of his sole challenger, Fresno Unified School Board member and Democrat Luis Chavez, as they head to the General Election. It will be hard to pick up this seat as Vidak won pretty handily the primary and is an incumbent.

State Senate 12: In the 12th Senate District, Sen. Anthony Cannella (R-Ceres) held a big lead over his only opponent, Shawn K. Bagley, a Democrat and produce broker from Salinas. Both are moving on to the General Election in a district where Democrats dominate but where Cannella, an incumbent, has done very well for the second time running for this seat.

He is a moderate who has taken good stances on issues like immigration, and has been prone in the Senate GOP caucus to work across party lines.

CFA Endorsed candidates

We have done great work for this primary, in a non-presidential year with a low voter turn out and with a top-two candidates election; our endorsed candidates did really well!

Thanks for your hours of knocking on doors, thousands of calls, and valued resources to help these candidates.

We have 69 CFA-endorsed candidates moving to the general; 97% of all the candidates CFA endorsed!