Election Day: Measures and Races to Watch

It’s Election Day for many voters in California. And while these off-cycle races may be typically low-key, a number of candidates and issues are making waves.

Ballot Measures

A total of 56 ballot measures will go before voters today, including 14 sales tax measures, 13 parcel tax measures, 7 marijuana business tax measures, a charter amendment to increase city council salaries in Compton, and a rent control measure in Pacifica. Montebello is also offering voters a chance to impose term limits of three consecutive four-year terms on its elected officials.

CalMarijuanaPolicy.org has a summary of all marijuana tax-related initiatives here. For a listing of all ballot measures in the state, see Ballotpedia

City Council Elections

We’re seeing big milestones, acrimony, and a whole lot of dough in some of the races for local councils. Here are just a few we’re watching today.

Hermosa Beach and Rancho Palos Verdes

It’s a jam-packed day in the South Bay between the flurry of ballot measures and local city council races.

Three seats are up for grabs in Hermosa Beach and seven candidates are competing for those: Stacey Armato; Christopher Cenci; Mary Campbell; Trent Bernard Larson; Peter C. Tucker; H.S. Fangary; and Matt McCool.

In Rancho Palos Verdes, six candidates are vying to replace termed-out councilmen Brian Campbell and Anthony Misetich on the city council: Dave Emenhiser; John Cruikshank; Krista Johnson; Eric Alegria; Matthew Vitalich; and Ben Kelly.

Read more at the Daily Breeze.

South El Monte

South El Monte voters will choose two new council members to represent them today. It’s an important election for the city, which is just emerging from a major corruption scandal. Needless to say, transparency was a key issue at the center of this race.

Palm Springs

It has been a bitter election cycle for Palm Springs and most residents will undoubtedly be pleased to see it come to an end. Seven candidates are vying for two open seats in what has shaped up to be a cutthroat race, with allegations of shadowy spending, ethics violations, and even Hitler imagery.

"We've had some ugly campaigning in the past, but this one appears to me to be one of the darkest," said former council member Paul Lewin.

Palm Springs’ city council race is capturing attention for another reason as well: it’s one of a record number of local races across the country featuring a transgender, non-binary individual. If she were to win, Palm Springs City Council candidate Lisa Middleton would be the first transgender elected representative in the state.

Santa Barbara

The mayor’s race in Santa Barbara is the most expensive in the city’s history, with nearly $850,000 raised among the five candidates: Hal Conklin; Frank Hotchkiss; Angel Martinez; Cathy Murillo; and Harwood White. Three council seats are also up for grabs today.

San Mateo

The city council race in San Mateo has also seen unprecedented spending. As Sue Lempert of the San Mateo Daily Journal notes, this is largely a result of special interests. The real estate and apartment industries have funneled beacoup cash to their preferred candidate one year after helping to defeat a big rent control measure.


The Novato City Council race is another competition that got ugly in its final days. As the Marin Independent Journal reports, a former city manager and former police chief put out statements at the end of last month excoriating Councilwoman Pat Eklund as a “calculating and manipulative” politician.

“In all my years of watching local politics, I’m not sure I’ve seen anything quite as direct,” Petaluma-based political analyst Brian Sobel told the paper.

The Novato drama has consumed most of the election coverage in Marin County, but there are several other important elections taking place today as well. Learn more about them here



Thursday, December 13, 2018 - 03:42

The former police chief and a police captain for the City of Fullerton are now facing criminal charges for allegedly attacking two paramedics at a Lady Antebellum concert in August.