2020 Local Election Results: Key Outcomes

There were more than 1,000 local races in California on Nov 3. They resulted in ousted incumbents, shifts in ideological makeup, and the rise of countless new political stars. Today, we’re taking a look at the outcomes in nearly a dozen cities that piqued our interest.

Assemblyman Todd Gloria bested Councilwoman Barbara Bry in the race for San Diego mayor. Gloria, a Democrat, will succeed Republican Mayor Kevin Falcuoner. Gloria will be San Diego’s first mayor of color and its first openly gay mayor. His victory has big implications for housing policy.

Los Angeles County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas beat attorney Grace Yoo for L.A. City Council District 2. In District 4, David Ryu lost his reelection to rising progressive star Nithya Raman in a historic upset.

Long Beach looks poised to have a much more progressive city council.

In Carson, Mayor Al Robles is trailing challengers Lula Davis-Holmes and Jim Dear.

Santa Ana has elected its first new mayor in 26 years. Councilman Vicente Sarmiento, a favorite of progressives, will replace outgoing Mayor Miguel Pulido.

Riverside Mayor Rusty Bailey is also retiring. And on Nov 3, voters chose school board member Patricia Lock Dawson to replace him. She was endorsed by Bailey over Council Member Andy Melendrez.

Pasadena City Councilman Victor Gordo, a labor-backed candidate, appears to have unseated Mayor Terry Tornek. Tornek’s candidacy was plagued by the fatal police shooting of 32-year-old Black man Anthony McClain. Tornek was criticized for removing a makeshift memorial for the man outside his home.

Voters in Burbank have defeated Measure RC, which would have established rent control on units built before February 1, 1995. San Francisco, on the other hand, became the lone California county to embrace rent control.

Three candidates backed by 49ers owner Jed York have won seats on the Santa Clara City Council. His effort to turn the Silicon Valley city into “Yorktown” is succeeding, thanks to the unprecedented $3 million he poured into local races. The incoming council members have already vowed to reset relations with the team.

San Francisco’s supervisor races appear to have given Mayor London Breed at least one new ally on the Board. Myrna Melgar, a former Planning Commission president appointed by Breed, is poised to win District 7. In District 1, Marjan Philhour — a moderate Democrat and another Breed ally — is also in the lead.

Finally, Oakland Councilwoman Lynette Gibson McElhaney, who has been a lightning rod in East Bay politics, has been unseated by housing activist Carroll Fife. Fife helped lead an effort by homeless mothers to overtake vacant property in West Oakland this year.