The Nov. 8 election is only days away and there are multiple big-name candidates and initiatives on the ballot.
The race for the governor’s office as well as the race for the United States Senate are both considered to be easy wins in deep blue California, but that doesn’t mean all of the other races are foregone conclusions.
Here’s a list of the races to watch in Tuesday’s general election:
The battle to become the state’s top accountant is sure to be one of the most closely watched races come Election Day.
Republican Lanhee Chen is looking to secure the first statewide position for the GOP in more than a decade. He faces off against Democrat Malia Cohen, chair of the California State Board of Equalization.
In what might be surprising to many voters, Chen, the Republican, has picked up key endorsements from both the Los Angeles Times and the San Francisco Chronicle.
Cohen has been endorsed by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, as well as Sen. Dianne Feinstein.
Los Angeles Mayor
The once-crowded race for mayor has at times grown contentious, but the two candidates running to be the next mayor of California’s most populous city will finally square off at the polls on Tuesday.
Rep. Karen Bass is seeking to trade in her spot in Congress to become L.A.’s chief political leader. Bass says that her priority if elected is to combat homelessness in the city — an issue that made her want to run for the position.
“We need people to get off the streets right away,” Bass told KTLA in a sit-down interview last week. “As a city, we have to make a decision that we are going to end homelessness and this is why I made the decision not to run for Congress again.”
If Bass wins, she could become the first woman mayor of Los Angeles and the second Black person to hold the office.
Her opponent is developer Rick Caruso, a real estate magnate known for his retail properties the Grove and Americana at Brand.
In his sit-down interview with KTLA, Caruso said seeing the city he loves “in crisis” spurred him run for mayor.
Both Bass and Caruso hope to replace Mayor Eric Garcetti, who is termed out and waiting for confirmation of his appointment as U.S. ambassador to India.
Los Angeles County Sheriff
It’s a matchup between one of the most controversial figures in Southern California politics versus a relatively unknown challenger.
Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva faces off against former Long Beach Police Chief Robert Luna.
Villanueva, who has clashed with the media, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors and some of his highest-ranking lieutenants, will try to stave off a challenge from Luna, who has been endorsed by all of his former opponents in June’s primary.
Elected in 2018 as a Democrat, Villanueva has drawn intense scrutiny during his tenure for his handling of accusations of deputy gangs among his staff, as well as allegations of covering up use-of-force incidents.
The two exchanged barbs during a heated debate in September, but came to an understanding when they discovered they both enjoyed the same television show — “The Big Bang Theory.”
Proposition 1 would amend the California Constitution so that it includes language that says that the state shall not get involved in a person’s decision to have an abortion or to choose or refuse contraceptives.
Abortions have been legal in California for many years, but the proposition would change the state’s founding document to include a line about a person’s fundamental right to reproductive freedom.
Planned Parenthood and the Women League of Voters have come out in support of the measure, while some religious groups and Republican lawmakers have voiced their dissent.
There are two gambling measures on the Nov. 8 ballot. The two propositions contain differences that could have major ramifications for California Native tribes and the California budget.
Prop 26 would allow for sports gambling at racetracks and some tribal casinos. It would also allow for casinos to offer dice games like craps and roulette.
It would also allow for tribes to sue cardrooms, which tribal leaders argue are offering games like blackjack illegally.
Prop 27 would allow for Californians of legal age to place sports bets from the comfort of their homes by using sports gambling apps like DraftKings or FanDuel.
If passed, Prop 27 would allow for those big-name gambling companies to partner with California tribes who currently don’t have any skin in the gambling game.
Both propositions, if passed, would bring in millions of revenue to California. Prop 26 is estimated to bring in tens of millions, while Prop 27 could bring in hundreds of millions.
The revenue brought in is earmarked for different initiatives.
Money from Prop 26 would be treated as state tax revenue and would be used to help with public education and community colleges, with any leftover being added to the state’s general fund.
Funds from Prop 27 would be mostly earmarked for homeless services, affordable housing and other services and support for the tribes.
Both propositions face heavy headwinds not only from opponents of both gambling measures, but also those who support one, but not the other.
According to the San Francisco Chronicle, the battle over sports betting is the most expensive ballot measure in the state’s history.