Re-elect State Assemblymember Ash Kalra to keep AD-27 on the right track.
About the Position
State Assembly Members form part of the California State Legislature, and work alongside the governor to establish laws and a state budget. They hold the power to pass bills that affect public policy, set state spending levels, raise and lower taxes, and uphold or override the governor’s vetoes. The California State Assembly has 80 districts. Each represents a population of at least 465,000 Californians. Representatives are elected to the Assembly for a two-year term. Every two years, all 80 seats are subject to election. Members elected before 2012 are restricted to three two-year terms (six years) in the Assembly. Those elected in or after 2012 are allowed to serve 12 years total across both the State Senate and Assembly. This term, Democrats currently hold a two-thirds supermajority of 61 seats in the California State Assembly, while Republicans hold 17 seats. One seat is held by an Independent, and one seat is currently vacant.
About the District
California's 27th Assembly District includes parts of Santa Clara County and the city of San Jose. Democrats typically hold this district. The most recent election results show 77.8 percent of AD-27 voted for Clinton for president in 2016, and 74.1 percent of the district voted for Newsom for governor in 2018.
About the Race
In the primary, Democrat incumbent Representative Kalra led Republican challenger G. Burt Lancaster by a margin of 51.4 percent. Kalra’s campaign has raised $381,896.30 and has pledged to refuse police money. At the same time, he has accepted money from the California Correctional Peace Officers Association and the Santa Clara County Probation Peace Officers Local 1587. His campaign has yet to pledge to refuse corporate PAC and fossil fuel money, and his campaign has accepted corporate PAC funding. Lancaster’s campaign has not made any FEC filings.
About the Candidate
Ash Kalra has lived in San Jose for over 35 years. He is the incumbent, having served in this position since 2017. According to campaign materials, he is running for re-election because as a longtime resident of San Jose, he is committed to improving the region’s environmental footprint and public safety.
In the State Assembly, Kalra has been outspoken in his advocacy for clean energy and preserving public green spaces. He is the author of the bill that banned single-use plastic toiletries in California hotels, and introduced legislation to protect tropical forests. Kalra has also worked on social protections, authoring bills to eliminate high school exit exams, and protect DACA recipients in the state.
Rep. Kalra’s priorities for AD-27 this year include being a champion for transit, safety, and the environment. He currently sits on five committees, including the committees on Aging and Long-Term Care, Labor and Employment, and Education. Rep. Kalra has co-sponsored five bills expanding housing, environmental protection, and justice reform this year. He scores a 100 out of 100 on Courage Score, our annual analysis of legislators’ progressive voting records. Based on our Courage Score analysis, Rep. Kalra has supported the most progressive bills that made it to a vote.
Prior to his election to the Assembly, Kalra was an attorney with the Santa Clara County Public Defender’s Office, working primarily to provide drug offenders with the opportunity to complete rehabilitation programs. Kalra was elected to the San Jose City Council in 2008, where he worked to stimulate economic growth and improve the public transportation system.
Rep. Kalra is endorsed by a strong majority of progressive groups in the district. He is also endorsed by police groups. However, the threat of Republican challenger and strong Trump supporter Lancaster’s potential policies greatly outweighs Kalra’s police backing and financing. According to our analysis, Rep. Kalra is the strongest choice for equitable and representative leadership in office.