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Big election year on tap for California Democrats, not Republicans

By in Press Enterprise on November 14, 2017

By Thomas Elias

Pity the poor California Republican Party. While its national brethren control both houses of Congress and the White House and might as well control the U.S. Supreme Court, chances are no California Republican will even make next November’s ballot in either of the top-of-ticket races whose outcome will be known about one year from today.

It’s quite the opposite for California Democrats, who exert even more control here than Republicans do in Washington, D.C. While it looks like the next year will be dreary for the state GOP, trying desperately to hold onto the meager 14 California congressional seats it now holds, multiple Democrats lead all polls and fundraising in the race to become California’s next governor – perhaps the second most powerful job in America. So far, only Democrats are among major prospects to oppose longtime California Democratic grandee Dianne Feinstein for the Senate seat she’s long held in what promises to become a classic intraparty spat.

Even in down-the-ticket races, it’s similar. Example: It now looks like the November runoff for attorney general will match the appointed incumbent Xavier Becerra and current state Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones, who did not flinch or drop out when Gov. Jerry Brown last year named veteran Congressman Becerra to replace new Democratic Sen. Kamala Harris.

No significant Republican candidate has yet risen for any statewide office except governor, where Orange County Assemblyman Travis Allen and Republican businessman John Cox both hope ballot initiative fights can propel them to the ballot.

Allen seeks to ride a tide he believes will lead to repeal of the state’s new environmentally-motivated gasoline tax increase, while Cox is again pushing a measure that would expand the Legislature a thousandfold.

No one knows yet if either putative proposition will draw the fervent support these men hope for, but others have ridden initiatives into […]    

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