Though there were few attention-grabbing statewide races or ballot measures, Californians headed to the polls Tuesday to cast their votes in the 2014 midterm, re-electing Gov. Jerry Brown to an unprecedented fourth term.
Polls closed at 8 p.m. and results trickled in over the course of the evening, but the Associated Press called the gubernatorial election in favor of Brown almost immediately.
Turnout was predicted to be low in the state, which had few of the galvanizing races or the kinds of divisive issues on the ballot that were at stake elsewhere in the country, where Republicans earned enough seats to take control of the U.S. Senate for the first time since 2006.
Imperial Valleyâ€™s turnout was particularly low, with only 23% of the voters either going to the polls (12%) or mailing in ballots (10%). The Valley overwhelmingly voted straight democratic tickets with Governor Jerry Brown getting almost 64% of the vote and Republican contender, Neel Kashkari, pulling in 36%.
The Lt. Governor vote in the County was a little closer, with Democrat Gavin Newsom getting 7,436 votes (58%) and Republican Ron Nehring getting 5,246 (41%).
The Valley voted back into office, Democrat Juan Vargas for our U.S. Congressman, and Democrat Ben Hueso won valley-wide for State Senator over Democrat Rafael Estrada, 6,791 votes to 4,874 votes. Both Vargas and Hueso also won district-wide, which includes other counties. For State Assembly, Democrat Eduardo Garcia won the valley and his overall district.
Statewide, more than 17.8 million Californians were registered to vote in the election, according to the Secretary of Stateâ€™s office.
Brown had beenÂ expected to easily win over Republican challenger Neel Kashkari, a former investment banker whoÂ oversawÂ the federal governmentâ€™s bank bailoutÂ under for theÂ Bush and Obama administrations. Â Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom won aÂ second term, and all the other top statewide offices were before voters too.
Kashkari congratulated the governor in his concession speech from Costa Mesa, challenging Brown to â€œbe boldâ€ in his next term. In a statement, Kashkari said his campaign had â€œlaid the groundwork for a Republican comeback in California.â€
Minutes later, speaking outside the governorâ€™s mansion in California, Brown called his fourth term a â€œgift.â€ He said the state was going in aÂ â€œprogressiveâ€ but â€œfiscally responsibleâ€ direction.
â€œIâ€™m going to do my utmost to live up to the promise of California that brought my great-grandfather â€¦ here to Sacramento in 1852,â€ Brown said.
Brown had 57 percent of votes with about a quarter of precincts reporting; Kashkari had 43 percent.
Most of the statewide races have proved less than thrilling, with an exception from an unexpected item on the ballot: the nonpartisan race for superintendent of public instruction. Union-backed Tom Torlakson, a former legislator and teacher, was seeking a second term, while charter schools advocate and reformer Marshall Tuck was looking for an upset.
The two were in a toss-up, an October poll showed. The costly contest has drawn attention from educators nationwide.
With about 30 percent of precincts reporting, Torlakson was ahead with 54.1 percent of the vote.
Statewide, all 80 Assembly seats were before voters, as were 20 state Senate seats and all 53 of Californiaâ€™s seats in the U.S. House of Representatives.
|Yes||1||Funding Water Quality, Supply, Treatment, Storage||3,378,826||1,681,733|
|Yes||2||State Budget Stabilization Account||3,421,992||1,557,990|
|No||45||Healthcare Insurance Rate Changes||2,032,272||3,024,584|
|No||46||Doctor Drug Testing, Medical Negligence||1,671,163||3,415,996|
|Yes||47||Criminal Sentences, Misdemeanor Penalties||2,955,206||2,100,278|
|No||48||Indian Gaming Compacts Referendum||1,929,202||3,009,380|