Newsom wins gubernatorial race, Pelosi wins re-election as Dems take House and other election results
ALTHOUGH the anticipated national “blue wave” that Democrats (and non-Democrats who vowed to vote Democrat in protest of Trumpian conservatism) were hoping for left a lot to be desired, California remained blue as ever after the contentious 2018 midterm elections.
As with all elections, it will take a few weeks for all the votes to be tallied, and it might take a while before a winner is officially declared by the office of the Secretary of State. But more than enough votes have been counted to confirm the clear winners.
To no surprise, Democratic candidate Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom won the gubernatorial race against Republican businessman John Cox, with Newsom winning 59.3 percent to Cox’s 40.7 percent. Since the June primary, Newsom maintained a comfortable lead in the polls.
Democrats also won every statewide office, including incumbents Attorney General Xavier Becerra, Secretary of State Alex Padilla and Controller Betty Yee.
Notably, women made history in statewide office. Former American diplomat and businesswoman Eleni Kounalakis will be the state’s first woman lieutenant governor and CPA Fiona Ma won the race for state treasurer. It’s the first time more than two women have been elected into California’s statewide constitutional offices.
However, former Republican-turned-independent candidate for insurance commissioner Steve Poizner won against Democratic Sen. Ricardo Lara of Bell Gardens.
Elsewhere, Sen. Dianne Feinstein — who has held office since 1992 — handily won her re-election campaign with 54 percent of the vote against CA state Senator Kevin de Leon, a progressive Democrat who penned the sanctuary state law.
Dems take House
Though the “blue wave” ended up looking more like a ripple, the Democrats managed to take control of the House of Representatives; as of press time, Democrats have 222 seats and Republicans have 196.
Democratic Rep. Nancy Pelosi of California’s 12th District, current House minority leader, won her re-election in a landslide, and she is poised to become the next Speaker of the House.
On Wednesday, Nov. 7, Pelosi told MSNBC that she was “confident” that she would become the next speaker and that she is the “best person” for the job.
President Donald Trump, who is known for his candid remarks on the Democratic Party, tweeted on Wednesday that Pelosi “deserved” to be speaker because of the House takeover by Democrats.
Widely seen as a moderate, left-of-center Democrat, Pelosi said that she plans to take a more bipartisan approach in the House going forward and to find “common ground where we can.”
Though the Democrats already took the House of Representatives hours before any of the hotly contested districts in California were called, California Democrats are in line to flip three of the reddest districts.
In the 25th District, which comprises much of northern Los Angeles County, the Republican incumbent Rep. Steve Knight is trailing his Democratic challenger Katie Hill by nearly 3 points, according to the Associated Press.
Democrat Mike Levin defeated Republican incumbent Darrell Issa down in the 49th District which comprises wealthy portions of Orange and San Diego counties. Elsewhere in Orange County, longtime Republican congressman Dana Rohrabacher of the 48th District lost his seat on Tuesday night to Democrat challenger Harley Rouda.
However, in California’s 39th District in Orange County, Republican candidate Young Kim took Ed Royce’s seat after defeating Democratic candidate Gil Cisneros, who ran a grassroots campaign.