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California House Races to watch

Hello.

On Tuesday, we sent you a reminder on the stakes of some of the top statewide voting proposals. Today we have a guide to other contests to watch:

District 21: The challenger is David Valadao, a Republican who is running for office in a part of California that has long been the deep red heart of a blue state. But don’t expect to see Mr. Valadao summon the President as he leads a tough personal campaign to reclaim the Central Valley House seat he narrowly lost in 2018 to Representative TJ Cox. Instead, Mr Valadao, a dairy farmer from Hanford, presented himself as a moderate option that can bridge partisan divisions, while slamming his opponent like a Liberal in the Bay Area which is out of touch with the needs of voters in an agricultural economy.

Mr Cox retaliated with a deadly campaign linking his challenger to President Trump and to parliamentary minority leader Kevin McCarthy, the Republican from the neighboring district who has been a reliable supporter of the president.

Republicans are hopeful that if Mr. Valadao can take back the district – which favored Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential election and is one of the most Latino in the country – it could point the way forward for a political party whose influence in the state has slipped in for four years. In the March primary, Mr. Valadao led the field with around 50% of the vote, while Mr. Cox got 38.6%. But experts say it’s a draw.

District 25: Voters in this suburban neighborhood north of Los Angeles have had a roller coaster year. Newcomer Democrat Katie Hill won the seat in 2018 as part of the state’s “blue wave”. But her resignation a year ago has reopened the field to a wide range of suitors, including Ms Hill’s predecessor, Republican Steve Knight, and progressive talk show host Cenk Uygur, who was at one point given approved by Senator Bernie Sanders prior to approval. recanted amid an outcry over the offensive comments Mr. Uygur had previously made.

In a May special election, however, Republican and former military pilot Mike Garcia easily defeated Democratic State Assembly member Christy Smith, making it the first time the GOP has overturned a seat. held by Democrats in California since the last. millennium. It was just temporary, however. The two are now fighting for a rematch, and it feels like a close race.

District 48: For years, this coastal district of Orange County was dominated by Republican Dana Rohrabacher, who was closely linked to President Trump and had been referred to as “Putin’s favorite congressman.” In 2018, however, a former Laguna Beach Republican, Harley Rouda, toppled Mr Rohrabacher after three decades.

This time around, Republicans are placing their hopes on Michelle Steel, the chair of the powerful Orange County Supervisory Board who served as an adviser to the president on US-Asian issues. Mr Rouda criticized Ms Steel for exacerbating the coronavirus pandemic by undermining the advice of scientists and health experts, and Ms Steel accused Mr Rouda of politicizing a pandemic.

District 50: Unlike the aforementioned House races, this neighborhood in San Diego County never turned blue. His Republican representative was Duncan Hunter, who resigned in January after pleading guilty to using his campaign chest to fund a lavish lifestyle. It was the end of a decades-long dynasty in the district; Mr. Hunter succeeded his father.

Mr Hunter’s political vulnerability prompted longtime former Republican congressman Darrell Issa to enter the race against Ammar Campa-Najjar, the young Democratic challenger Mr Hunter defeated in 2018, despite the charges.

[See The Times’s full voter guide for Californians, with information about how, when and where to cast your ballot. | Leer en español.]

Los Angeles District Attorney: This summer has been marked by widespread protests against police brutality and racism. But in California, the debates over how to control the police were already well underway. For years, Black Lives Matter activists in Los Angeles have criticized District Attorney Jackie Lacey for failing to prosecute police officers who killed people on the job. Today she faces a serious challenge from George Gascón, who until recently was San Francisco’s district attorney and presented himself as a progressive reformer.

Yet the recent uprisings have changed the playing field: Earlier this month, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti withdrew his endorsement from Ms Lacey and endorsed Mr Gascón.

Mayor of San Diego: The race to become mayor of California’s second largest city is remarkable for several reasons. First, it’s up to two Democrats – Todd Gloria, a state assembly member, and Barbara Bry, a city councilor – to replace Mayor Kevin Faulconer, a Republican who will be called up. In addition, the two candidates have similar views on most issues, with one important exception being how they would approach the housing crisis. Mr Gloria said he supported legislation that would allow denser development in single-family neighborhoods. And neither is clearly in the lead.

  • Because millions of people vote by mail, Californians’ ballots will continue to be counted days and even weeks after November 3. Here’s how long it should take in each state. [The New York Times]

  • Time the editorial board approved proposal 16. [New York Times Opinion]

  • Here is more information about California Congress Races. [CalMatters]

(This article is part of California today newsletter. Register to have it delivered to your inbox.)


  • Two wildfires rage in eastern Orange County were fed by winds from Santa Ana on Tuesday, scaring away tens of thousands of residents. Southern California Edison said his equipment may have played a role in starting one of the fires. [The New York Times]

Follow updates on fires. [The Orange County Register]

  • Washington, Oregon and Nevada joined the California plan to review all federally approved coronavirus vaccines. [The New York Times]

  • The number of cases has increased slightly in recent days. Bay Area counties still reopen some businesses and services. [The San Francisco Chronicle]

Ask about the plan to reopen at multiple levels of state. [The New York Times]

  • If the pace of today’s news makes you want stories on feuds among the ultra rich and litigation in California’s elite coastal communities, here’s one about “King of Bonds” Bill Gross fighting with his neighbor over a sculpture of Dale Chihuly in his backyard in Laguna Beach. [The Los Angeles Times]


For the first time in over three decades, and after years of frustration, the Dodgers have won the World Series. Fireworks exploded in the skies over the city and, for the second time in two months, fans of a championship-winning Los Angeles sports team poured into the streets.

As it is 2020, however, the joy was not entirely absolute: just before the Dodgers received the Commissioner’s Trophy, it was announced that Justin Turner had been taken out of the game because he had tested positive for the coronavirus. He was then seen celebrating with his teammates and fans.

And according to the Los Angeles Times, officials accuse the Lakers and Dodgers of potentially spreading the virus.


California Today goes live at 6:30 a.m. PT on weekdays. Tell us what you want to see: CAtoday@nytimes.com. Have you been forwarded this email? Sign up for California Today here and read each edition online here.

Jill Cowan grew up in Orange County, graduated from UC Berkeley, and has reported all over the state, including the Bay Area, Bakersfield and Los Angeles – but she always wants to see more. Follow us here or on Twitter.

California Today is edited by Julie Bloom, who grew up in Los Angeles and graduated from UC Berkeley.

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