SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) – Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara (D) is running far ahead of challenger Robert Howell (R) according to preliminary election returns from the California Secretary of State’s office.

Howell, a cybersecurity equipment manufacturer, narrowly beat several Democrats for the opportunity to challenge Lara in today’s election. In the primary, Lara failed to win some endorsements amid ethics trouble, as KRON4 previously reported.

But none of that seemed to matter today, with Lara winning 63.5% of the vote compared to Howell’s 36.5%, with 9.9% precinct reporting, according to preliminary returns as of 8:41 p.m. Tuesday.

Lara had been a state senator and a state assemblyman representing Los Angeles before he was elected to statewide office as insurance commissioner in 2018.