By Antonio Ray Harvey, CA Black Media
Black women running for political office at all levels in the state of California showed strong in the June 7 primary elections. They captured the minds and hearts of various groups of Californians and pulled in the numbers they needed to secure places on the November general election ballot.
According to some political organizers, the results indicate that black women are fully engaged in the Californian political process and are poised to succeed against fierce competition.
“The June 7 primary election was another demonstration of the consistency of black women in the political process,” said Kellie Todd, founding coordinator of the Black Women’s Collective (BWC), an organization of black women leaders and activists working in politics, business, entertainment, health care and other professions across the state.
“And this time we didn’t just show up to vote, we were on the ballot at every level, in various communities across this state,” Griffin pointed out.
Black Californians made up 26.9% of all candidates in the June 7 primary ballots for U.S. House seats, a significant performance in a state where there are 2.6 million African Americans on a total state population of 39.5 million.
In the Bay Area, U.S. Congresswoman Barbara Lee (D-CA-13) earned a comfortable lead in her re-election bid. She leads with 73,038 votes (86.3%) against Republican challenger Stephen Slauson’s 5,272 (6.2%). Lee and Slauson are likely to advance in the general election.
In another state race involving a black woman, Contra Costa District Attorney Diana Becton declared victory in the race for county law enforcement chief.
Becton is currently winning his re-election campaign with a substantial lead of 56.2% (93,909 votes) over his challenger Mary Knox’s 43.7% (73,100 votes). Knox is a prosecutor who works in his office.
Becton took office as district attorney in 2017, the first woman and first African American to hold the position in the county’s 167-year history. Becton is currently the only African-American district attorney in California.
Becton thanked Knox for his years of service and stressed the need to keep fighting for smart reforms that make all Californians safer.
“The status quo has decimated entire communities, separated families and relegated generations of black and brown communities as second-class citizens,” Becton said in a June 8 statement. “That’s why we will continue to work to reduce racial disparities in our systems. We must also continue to hold accountable anyone who harms our communities – even if they are elected or wear a badge – because that is what that true security demands.
After 168,338 mail-in ballots were counted after June 7, U.S. Representative Karen Bass (D-CA-37) closed the gap to her better-funded billionaire opponent Rick Caruso in the Los Angeles mayoral race. , according to results released on June 10. by the Los Angeles County Clerk / County Clerk.
Caruso leads with 155,929 votes (40.5%) to Bass’s 149,104 (38.8%), according to the Clerk’s Office. More than 500,000 votes remain uncounted and ballots postmarked before Election Day will be accepted until June 14.
In statewide races, California Secretary of State Shirley Weber has 2,631,686 votes (59.2%) so far. She will face Republican Rob Bernosky in the legislative elections in November. As of June 12, Bernosky currently occupies a distant second place behind Weber with 848,373 votes (19.1%).
Malia Cohen, currently a member of the State Board of Equalization, won 21.3% of the vote (973,549) in the race for state comptroller, enough to put her in second place and secure a spot on the ballot in November.
Cohen will face Lanhee Chen, the lone Republican in a six-man race to replace California comptroller Betty Yee. Chen leads the race in the primary election with 38.8% of the votes counted (1,534,620).
For the 37th congressional district seat, currently held by Bass, former Los Angeles City Councilman Jan Perry came in second place with 10,520 votes (18.6%). State Sen. Sydney Kamlager (D-Los Angeles) led the field of seven candidates with 24,354 (43.0 percent), according to election results released by the secretary of state’s office on June 11.
Republican Ronda Kennedy, a civil rights lawyer running to represent the 30e The Congressional District (Burbank) currently sits in third place (9,290) behind Democrat G “Maebe A. Girl” Pudlo (10,153). Kennedy or Pudlo will face leader Adam Schiff (D-San Diego) in November, Schiff has a sizable lead with 60,658 votes, according to the SOS office.
In the race to represent the 43rd congressional district, longtime incumbent Maxine Waters (D-Los Angeles) leads Republican Omar Navarro by a wide margin of 33,801 votes to 5,949.
Black Republican Tamika Hamilton could face incumbent Ami Bera (D-Elk Grove) for the District 6 congressional seat in Sacramento and Yolo counties.
Two months after winning the special election for the 11th Assembly District seat, Lori Wilson (D-Suisun City) came out on top in the primary with 64.9 percent (48,657 votes). She is ahead of independent challenger Jenny Lailani Callison, who so far has 35.1% of the votes counted (26,349).
“We have proven that black women candidates can be competitive and can also win even without significant financial support from special interests,” Todd said. “This is just the beginning as we continue to build our political power and ensure we have a strong cohort of elected officials ready to serve.”
In the State Assembly races, Assemblymember Akilah Weber (D-San Diego) is well positioned to retain his seat representing 79e District with 63.9% (30,005 votes). At 18e Assembly District in Oakland, Assemblymember Mia Bonta, the only candidate on the ballot, won 100 percent of the vote (36,226).
In the state Senate race for the 28th district, two black women are leading the primary to succeed Sen. Sydney Kamlager (D-Los Angeles). With 40.9% of the vote (33,687 votes), Lola Smallwood-Cuevas (D) is ahead of Cheryl C. Turner (D), who is in second place with 31.0% (25,508 votes).