Capitol Beat – 2020 Elections

Aaron Read and Randy Perry
Legislative Advocates
Aaron Read & Associates, LLC

Election season has begun, as candidates are scrambling for campaign contributions and endorsements. The primary election is March 3, 2020, rather than the usual June primary date. In 2018, Governor Brown moved up the date to coincide with our presidential election primary, or “Super Tuesday.” This change was made because historically, the presidential nominees had already been determined by the time Californians cast their votes. A March primary gives California a more integral role in the presidential race. 

In this article, we’ll take a look at some of California’s key legislative races. In the Assembly, the vast majority of members who were elected in 2012 to 12-year terms still remain, so they are not termed out until 2024. Most incumbent legislators will likely win re-election. PORAC will be reviewing all 100 races that are up for election next year. All 80 Assembly seats are up in 2020 because they have two-year terms.

The Senate has four-year terms, so the odd-numbered Senate districts are up in 2020. The even-numbered districts are up in 2022. Here is a quick summary of the open seats, where there will be no incumbent running, as well as some of the more hotly contested races:


There are three open seats in the Assembly:

  • AD 13: Susan Eggman is running for Senator Cathleen Galgiani’s seat because Galgiani is termed out.
  • AD 25: Kansen Chu is running for the Board of Supervisors, so he is vacating his Assembly seat.
  • AD 78: Todd Gloria is vacating his seat in order to run for mayor of San Diego.

These are races that could be contested in the Assembly:

  • AD 16: Rebecca Bauer-Kahan is new — she defeated the Republican incumbent, Catharine Baker, in 2016. Bauer-Kahan has a strong campaign and no opponent yet, so she will likely win.
  • AD 36: Tom Lackey is the incumbent; he is a retired CHP sergeant and a great friend to law enforcement. Assemblymember Lackey is in the same area as Republican Congressmember Steve Knight, who was defeated in 2018, so Democrats have targeted him.
  • AD 38: Christy Smith defeated an incumbent Republican. Assemblymember Smith is a strong member, so it is likely that she’ll keep her seat.
  • AD 68: Incumbent Republican Steve Choi will be challenged. He’s from Orange County, which has mostly been flipped from Republican to Democrat.
  • AD 71: Randy Voepel is a Republican incumbent and once again, San Diego County seems to be going from Republican to Democrat. Voepel is the only Vietnam veteran in the Legislature and he is pro-law enforcement.
  • AD 72: Tyler Diep is a Republican from Orange County. The Democrats will likely try to take him out.
  • AD 73: Bill Brough has had some allegations of sexual misconduct by a Republican woman in Orange County with whom he used to work, which has caused him some bad press. He will have an interesting race. AD 73 is likely a safe Republican seat.
  • AD 74: Cottie Petrie-Norris picked up a Republican seat in Orange County, but she has been supportive of law enforcement issues.
  • AD 76: Tasha Boerner Horvath picked up a Republican seat in North San Diego County and the Republicans will try to take it back. It’s difficult to know how it will go.
  • AD 77: Brian Maienschein, a former Republican, became a Democrat after he almost lost the election in 2018. He was likely to lose in 2020 if he remained a Republican, so he switched parties.


  • SD 5: As mentioned, Cathleen Galgiani is termed out and Assemblymember Susan Eggman is one of the candidates trying to replace her. This will be a contested seat, but will likely remain a Democratic one. PORAC has already endorsed Mani Grewal for this seat.
  • SD 13: Jerry Hill is termed out. Josh Becker is running, along with several others. In a rare move, Governor Newsom endorsed Becker early. PORAC likes Becker as well.
  • SD 15: Jim Beall is also termed out. Santa Clara County Supervisor Dave Cortese, former Assemblymember Nora Campos and Ann Ravel are all running. This will be a hotly contested race. PORAC has taken no position at this time.
  • SD 17: Former Assemblymember John Laird is running to replace Senator Bill Monning, who is termed out. It would be difficult to beat Laird in this seat. He is very well known and he’s been campaigning for months.
  • SD 19: Hannah-Beth Jackson is termed out. We are unsure who is running for this seat as of now. Speculation is either Assemblymember Monique Limon, Santa Barbara County Supervisor Das Williams or Santa Barbara Councilmember Jason Dominguez will get into this race.

As always, if you have any legislative questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact the team at Aaron Read & Associates at (916) 448-3444 or email Aaron Read (, Randy Perry ( or Michele Cervone ( We are proud to be a part of the PORAC family.