As the political environment turns against Democrats in 2022, Republicans have three strong chances for picking up their first statewide office in California in 16 years — ending dry spell.
If you count Arnold Schwarzenegger, it has been 16 years (2006) since a Republican won a statewide office in California. If you correctly disregard Schwarenegger as a Republican, it has been 28 years (1994) since a Republican won statewide office in California.
That long dry spell may finally end in 2022 - but only if Republicans mount a strong challenge and turn out to vote.
There are three statewide races this year - each for unique reasons - that are competitive enough to potentially flip to Republicans: Attorney General, Controller, and Superintendent of Public Instruction. The Republican nominees for the positions are Nathan Hochman, Lanhee Chen, and Lance Christensen respectively.
Carl DeMaio, chairman of Reform California, explains that these offices are uniquely in play due to current voter concerns and national trends.
“This cycle is all about runaway crime, rampant inflation, and failing schools — and voters are beginning to wake up to the fact that the Democrat’s supermajority rule in Sacramento is responsible,” said DeMaio.
Attorney General Race
Democrat Rob Bonta faces off against Republican Nathan Hochman just as crime and homelessness is skyrocketing in California.
And voters are taking note. DeMaio points to a recent poll by Berkeley/IGS that shows a major shift in voter concerns toward rising crime in the state — which now tops key voter issues along with homelessness. The poll found that 78% of voters say crime has risen statewide, with 65% of voters saying crime has increased in their local area. Another poll by Politico/Morning Consult shows 75% of voters blame the liberal policy of “defund the police” as the main cause of rising crime.
“The liberal policies of catch and release, no cash bail, not enforcing the law, and more are finally catching up with Democrats in the Attorney General race — if Republicans run on enforcing the law and cracking down on crime, they can win,” said DeMaio.
DeMaio explains that previous Republican Attorneys General in the 1980s and 1990s had won their campaigns by running on that message — something they’ve failed to do in recent years and have paid the price at the ballot box.
“Republican Nathan Hochman can win — if there is a favorable national environment and the right messaging and voter concerns align,” explained DeMaio.
State Controller Race
The State Controller is the chief financial officer for the state government and is responsible for not only keeping the books but also has the power to audit any state or local government program.
Astonishingly, the last time a Republican won the State Controller’s office was 1970 with Houston Flournoy.
DeMaio says the Republican candidate this cycle, Lanhee Chen, is unique not only in his commitment to crack down on state corruption and financial mismanagement — but because he has garnered immense crossover support.
At the same time Chen’s opponent, Malia Cohen, is facing a number of personal financial controversies - raising the question of whether she can handle complex state finances if she can’t even handle her own finances.
“Chen is a policy powerhouse respected by players in both political parties and he has correctly pitched his case for a one-party controlled state needing an independent fiscal watchdog for balance,” DeMaio notes.
Chen has even been endorsed by several liberal newspapers, such as the LA Times and the San Diego Union Tribune.
Superintendent of Public Instruction
The California Superintendent of Public Instruction is the top education position in California and has oversight of every school district in the state.
This contest is officially a nonpartisan race — meaning that voters will not be allowed to see the party registration of the two candidates on the ballot. Republicans have not since won the seat since 1966 when Republican Max Rafferty was re-elected.
Incumbent Democrat Tony Thurmond only won the seat by 1.8% in 2018. He faces Republican Lance Christensen who is a well-known education reform advocate.
Buoyed by voter concerns with failing schools, a favorable national environment, crossover appeal with an official “nonpartisan” ballot designation, and an incumbent that barely won in 2018 — Christensen is getting a last minute bump from an October Surprise in the form of disastrously bad test scores for students.
The California Department of Education released a report this week detailing student test scores in 2022:
- 53% of students didn’t meet English standards
- 67% of students didn’t meet Math standards
- 71% of students didn’t meet Science standards
“These results confirm what we already knew: the toxic curriculums and horrible teachers and administrators in our schools — backed by corrupt, liberal teachers unions — are failing our students and causing a parent revolt in November,” said DeMaio. “Not only will these angry parents and voters help take back our school boards, but they may deliver the statewide win to Lance Christensen.”
“But then again, this is deep-blue California where the liberal establishment media of our state is desperately trying to cover up the failings of their ruling Democrat friends,” DeMaio lamented.
DeMaio says that voters can counteract this by helping to share his annual voter guide, which he says explains candidates and ballot measures in “Plain English.”
You can view the guide at ElectionGuideCalifornia.org.
In addition to using and sharing the voter guide to help elect these candidates, DeMaio is urging concerned voters to join the campaign today to flip target seats up and down the state.
“Together, we can help educate the public about the issues, end one-party rule, and elect reform-minded candidates in November,” DeMaio explained. “But we can’t do it without your help and your vote,” he concluded.
Join the Campaign: Flip Target Seats in California
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