Brown, Bustamente earn victories in Democratic primaries
LOS ANGELES (AP) – Oakland mayor and former California governor Jerry Brown edged closer Tuesday to adding another state job to his resume.
Brown, 68, defeated Los Angeles City Attorney Rocky Delgadillo, 45, in the Democrat primary race for attorney general. With 27 percent of the precincts reporting, Brown had 68 percent of the vote while Delgadillo had 32 percent of the vote.
Brown faces Republican Chuck Poochigian, a state senator from Fresno, in November.
“I think voters are sick and tired of negative ads and extreme partisanship,” Brown said. “I think I have a long record of support for the environment, women’s rights, independent mindedness and, more recently, being tough on crime.”
The attorney general’s race was among several close statewide contests with veteran state lawmakers looking for new jobs in Sacramento.
In the lieutenant governor’s race, Republican Sen. Tom McClintock of Thousand Oaks, overwhelming beat challenger Tony Farmer, a real estate agent from Fresno, in the Republican primary. McClintock received more than 90 percent of the vote.
With 27 percent of precincts reporting, the Democrat vote was roughly split between state Sen. Jackie Speier, 56, who had 43 percent of the vote and Insurance Commissioner John Garamendi, 61, who had 41 percent.
State Sen. Liz Figueroa, 55, trailed with 17 percent of the vote in the race for the seat now occupied by Cruz Bustamante, a fellow Democrat who is running for insurance commissioner. Figueroa and Speier are termed out of their Senate seats.
Bustamante, who has featured his campaign on his weight loss, beat challenger John Kraft, 65, of South Pasadena. With 27 percent of the vote, Bustamante had 67 percent of the vote while Kraft had 33 percent of the vote.
Bustamante has faced criticism for taking tens of thousands of dollars in donations from the insurance industry. Days before the primary, however, he began refunding insurance-related contributions.
The Republican candidate, Steve Poizner, is a technology millionaire who has never held public office and ran unopposed.
In other races, Democrat state Sen. Debra Bowen defeated state Sen. Deborah Ortiz, 49, in the Secretary of State’s race. With 27 percent of the precincts reporting, Bowen had 64 percent of the vote while Ortiz had 36 percent.
The two termed-out legislators had set themselves apart by giving differing opinions about electronic voting. Bowen has been critical of electronic touchscreen machines, which some have said are vulnerable to tampering. Ortiz has endorsed the machines as long as they generate a paper trail.
Bowen will face Republican incumbent Bruce McPherson in November.
“It’s really about people’s confidence about whose best prepared to do the work of secretary of state,” said Bowen, who has touted her work in the Legislature on technology issues.
In the state treasurer’s race, Attorney General Bill Lockyer, 65, and a pair of Republicans were running to become California’s chief banker.
The post is now held by Phil Angelides, a Democratic candidate for governor. Two Los Angeles County Republicans, Assemblyman Keith Richman, 52, and Board of Equalization member Claude Parrish, 58, were battling for job. Parrish held a 10 point lead with 55 percent of the vote with 27 percent of the precincts reporting. Richman had 45 percent of the vote.
Democrats hoping to replace controller and gubernatorial candidate Steve Westly as the state’s chief financial officer included Sen. Joe Dunn, 47, of Garden Grove and John Chiang, 43, a member of the state Board of Equalization.
With 28 percent of the precincts reporting, Chiang had 54 percent of the vote while Dunn had 46 percent.
Republicans in the controller’s race were neck and neck. State Sen. Abel Maldonado, 38, of Santa Maria and former Assemblyman Tony Strickland, 36, of Thousand Oaks each had 38 percent of the vote with 27 percent of precincts reporting.
The winner for each party will advance to the general election in November.
For state schools superintendent, Jack O’Connell, 54, was running for re-election after implementing some of the most far-reaching education reforms California has seen in two decades. He is perhaps best known for the high school exit exam, a test students must pass to receive a diploma.
None of his opponents in the nonpartisan race had mounted a serious challenge or established a statewide profile. O’Connell will win a second term outright if he gets a simple majority.
With 27 percent of the precincts reporting, O’Connell had 54 percent of the vote.