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Yesterday’s primary election put California’s newly drawn federal, state and local districts on the ballot for the first time, setting the stage for November’s general election. Several key races resulted in clear cut winners, while others remain too close to call with many ballots remaining to be counted.

Please find below some key takeaways from yesterday’s primary, keeping in mind that results may shift as ballots continue to be tallied. For the most updated results, visit the California Secretary of State’s website, or the webpages of county election officials.


  1. Record low voter turnout – Only 16 percent of California voters cast a ballot in yesterday’s primary election as of this morning – the lowest turnout ever if it stands – dipping below the previous record low of 25 percent in the 2014 primary election. This number will likely rise as votes continue to be tallied.
  2. Tough day for independent candidates – The most high-profile independent candidates for statewide office barely made a splash in the ballot box with gubernatorial candidate Michael Shellenberger and attorney general candidate Anne Marie Schubert receiving well below 10 percent of the vote for their respective offices as of Wednesday morning.
  3. Newsom appointees sail through – Incumbent officeholders appointed by Gov. Newsom have fared well: US Senator Alex Padilla, Attorney General Rob Bonta and Secretary of State Dr. Shirley Weber all handily advanced to the general election.
  4. Insurance Commissioner top-two too close to call – Incumbent Ricardo Lara has advanced to the November election, but who he will face is still to be determined. Democratic Assemblymember Marc Levine and Republican candidate Robert Howell are jockeying for the number two spot on the ballot.
  5. Controller GOP’s best shot at statewide office – Republican candidate for controller, Lanhee Chen, received more votes than any other candidate vying for the position. He looks to be headed to a runoff with Democrat Malia Cohen in November.

Around the state

  1. Caruso and Bass head to runoff for LA mayor – Real estate developer Rick Caruso will face off against US Representative Karen Bass in November for the Los Angeles mayor’s office. Caruso currently leads the pack of candidates with 42 percent of the vote, with Bass at 37 percent. Former California Senate pro Tem Kevin de Leon came in third, missing the November runoff.
  2. San Francisco DA Boudin recalled – In a recall race that received national attention, voters recalled progressive San Francisco District Attorney Chesa Boudin. Mayor London Breed will choose his replacement.
  3. Kiley bests Jones for Republican nod in CD 3 – Republican Assemblyman Kevin Kiley beat out Sheriff Scott Jones for the Republican ticket to represent the newly drawn 3rd Congressional District in November. Kiley will face off against Democrat Dr. Kermit Jones to represent the district that stretches from the Sacramento region and the Northern Sierras all the way to Death Valley.
  4. Cooper leads Barnes for Sheriff – Assemblyman Jim Cooper has a strong lead over Undersheriff Jim Barnes to become the next Sacramento County Sheriff. If the results hold, with Cooper currently garnering more than 50 percent of the vote, there would be no November runoff.

You can find additional details about California’s primary election results from the Los Angeles TimesSacramento BeeNew York Times and CalMatters