NARAL Pro-Choice California

NARAL Pro-Choice California

NARAL Pro-Choice California is dedicated to protecting and expanding reproductive freedom for all. For more than 50 years, NARAL has worked to guarantee that every woman has the right to make personal decisions regarding the full range of reproductive choices, including preventing unintended pregnancy, bearing healthy children, and choosing legal abortion. Since 1969, NARAL has made history, grown to over 2.5 million members, and met the moments that have defined this fight with action, power and freedom. In recognition of its work defending our constitutional right to choose, Fortune Magazine described NARAL as one of the top 10 advocacy groups in America.

Endorsements

Congress

6th Congressional District

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Democrat

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Representative Doris Matsui was born in the Poston War Relocation Center in Arizona; her parents had been forced from their homes in the Central Valley and met in the camp. Her family relocated back to the Central Valley, where Matsui was raised. She attended the University of California at Berkeley, where she met her husband, the late Congressman Bob Matsui. After his unexpected passing in 2005, she ran for his seat in a special election, which was then California’s 5th District, and won. The 2010 redistricting shifted her to the present 6th District; regardless, she has won every election since by comfortable margins.

Matsui serves on the House Energy and Commerce Committee, and four subcommittees. Matsui has long campaigned on improving education, supporting green and renewable energies, and expanding access to healthcare. She has criticized the Trump administrations’ attacks on the EPA, and California's own efforts to combat air pollution and maintain CAFE standards. She supports tax incentives for clean energy, including loans for homeowners to retrofit homes and grants to modernize electrical grids.

She is a strong supporter of the Affordable Care Act, and has fought for comprehensive mental health reforms. In 2014, she sponsored and helped pass helped the Excellence in Mental Health Act, which funded community behavioral health clinics in pilot states.

Matsui has also become increasingly outspoken against the Trump administration's fear mongering, and discriminatory immigration and detention policies. After visiting a detention processing center in McAllen, Texas, the Congresswoman wrote an op-ed stating she was “sickened” by the conditions, and called for “wholesale reform” that includes investment in Central American nations, ending the separation of families at the border, and ending the role of private prisons at the border.

Rep. Matsui is challenged by Benjamin Emrad (D), Chris Bish (R), and Sherwood Ellsworthy Haisty, Jr. (R). Matsui stands out as the best progressive choice because of her commitment to progressive values and vision for a healthier, more just and vibrant future.

According to our analysis, Matsui is the strongest choice for progressive leadership in office.
 

Last updated: 2020-02-25


10th Congressional District

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Democrat

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Rep. Josh Harder lives in his hometown of Turlock, CA. He is the incumbent, having beat the sitting republican in a tight race in 2018, which helped Democrats to win back control of Congress. According to campaign materials, Harder is running for re-election to protect access to health care, create good-paying jobs, reform our broken immigration system, and to secure and grow his area’s water supply.

In Congress, Rep. Harder has advocated for the needs of the agriculture industry by addressing issues of climate change, and has fought to support California’s farmers. Rep. Harder currently sits on the House Committees on Education and Labor, as well as the Agriculture Committee. Prior to serving in congress, Harder was a business professor at Modesto Junior College. Harder has also passed on his small business knowledge to developing economies through volunteer efforts. While working at Boston Consulting Group, he took a leave of absence to help small farmers in Kenya and Uganda organize for economic cooperation and development.

Rep. Harder is running against Michael “Mike” Barkley (D), Ryan Blevins (D), Bob Elliot (R), Maria Sousa Livengood (R), and Ted Howze (R). According to recent election results, it's difficult for Democrats to win this seat as Rep. Harder did in 2018. His strong progressive track record as well as his recent win in a recently flipped district make him the strongest choice in this race.
 

Last updated: 2020-02-28


12th Congressional District

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Democrat

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Congressional Representative and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi is originally from Baltimore, Maryland and is the daughter of Baltimore Democratic Mayor Thomas D'Alesandro Jr. She is the incumbent, having represented District 12 in Congress since 1987. She first moved to San Francisco in 1969 and started a Democratic Party club at her home. When she entered politics, it was originally behind the scenes as a fundraiser and recruiter of Democratic candidates. It wasn’t until she turned 47, after her youngest child had left for college, that she ran for office herself in 1987, raising $1 million in seven weeks to win a special election and her first term representing District 12. 

In representing the needs and interests of the 12th Congressional District, Speaker Pelosi has been able to advance policy priorities that have pushed the country in a strongly progressive direction. Speaker Pelosi played a large role in resetting the agenda on LGBTQ+ rights and the AIDS crisis during a time when both were vilified in the national debate. Speaker Pelosi also played a major role in architecting the landmark assault weapons ban that passed in 1994 and was in effect until it expired in 2004. 

Speaker Pelosi is the 52nd Speaker of the House of Representatives. She is the first woman to serve as Speaker of the House and is in her third term in this position. 

Notable legislation passed during her speakership includes the Affordable Care Act -- which she is credited with saving as it appeared to be falling apart in 2009-10 -- the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, and the Don't Ask, Don't Tell Repeal Act. Speaker Pelosi will be remembered for her achievements in breaking down gender barriers on Capitol Hill and paving the way for women leaders to enter negotiations at every level in government.

As she manages her ideologically diverse Democratic caucus in the House, progressives have advanced many substantive, thoughtful critiques of Speaker Pelosi’s leadership. These include her slowness to embrace the impeachment of Donald Trump, her support for impeachment only on the narrowest of grounds, her lack of support for a Green New Deal (or any other proposal) to avoid climate armageddon, and her choice of leadership at the DCCC -- which has actively tried to protect incumbent Democrats from progressive challengers, no matter how abhorrent their records.

Speaker Pelosi is being challenged by Agatha Bacelar (D), Shahid Buttar (D), Tom Gallagher (D), John Dennis (R), and DeAnna Lorraine (R). Ideologically speaking, her Democratic challengers have stronger progressive positions, particularly Shahid Buttar (a self-identified democratic socialist) who has emerged at Pelosi’s most prominent challenger. While we are not recommending Buttar in this guide, we appreciate that he is pushing Speaker Pelosi to be bolder. Perhaps Buttar will succeed Pelosi in 2022, as there have been numerous reports that Speaker Pelosi plans to step down soon.

According to our analysis, despite progressive critiques with which we agree, Speaker Pelosi deserves your vote in 2020 as the strongest choice to maintain Democratic momentum and make real progressive change under a Democratic president in 2021.
 

Last updated: 2020-02-28


13th Congressional District

Barbara Lee photo
Democrat

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Representative Lee is from El Paso, TX, and moved to California in 1960. She is the incumbent, having served in Congress since 2013. According to campaign literature, Rep. Lee is running for re-election to continue her fight for everyone’s equal rights and to be the advocate her district needs in Congress.

In Congress, Rep. Lee has advanced initiatives to address issues of poverty and inequality. She was also one of the leading voices of opposition against the authorization for the use of military force following September 11th. Rep. Lee currently sits on the House Committee on Appropriations and the House Committee on the Budget. Prior to Rep. Lee’s election to Congress, she served in the California State Assembly and State Senate, where she authored over 60 pieces of legislation on issues pertaining to public safety, access to affordable and quality education, LGBT rights, environmental protections, and criminal justice reform.

Rep. Lee is running against Nikka Pitterman (R). Rep. Lee is the best progressive choice because of her legislative track record and her continued efforts to fight for equality for all.

According to our analysis, Rep. Lee is the strongest choice for progressive leadership in office.

Last updated: 2020-02-12


14th Congressional District

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Democrat

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Jackie Speier was born and raised in San Francisco. She has been a lifelong public servant, having first been elected to the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors in 1980. She won a special primary election for the 14th Congressional District on April 8, 2008 and has run on platforms advocating for gender equity, gun violence prevention, and LGBTQ equality.

Speier began her political career as a congressional staffer for Congressman Leo Ryan. While a congressional staffer for Congressman Leo Ryan, Speier went on a fact finding mission to investigate the Jonestown settlement, where she sustained five gunshot wounds during the massacre. She has co-sponsored and supported numerous pieces of legislation on gun violence prevention in her time in office since.

Speier has long fought for women’s rights as well as LGBTQ equality. She supports adding LGBTQ protections to ENDA, Title IX protections, gender pay equity, the Equal Rights Amendment, the #MeToo movement, and abortion protections. She has opposed discrimination on the basis of religious protection, and Trump’s Transgender Military Service Ban.

In Congress, Speier also helped secure funding for the district’s CalTrain services, and been active on legislation to address climate change. She supports the Green New Deal and policies to develop renewable energies and make them more accessible.

Jackie Speier is being challenged by Cristos Goodrow (D), Ran S. Petel (R), and Eric Taylor (NPP). Based on our analysis, Speier has consistently been a strong progressive voice in Congress and is the strongest choice for progressive leadership in office.

Last updated: 2020-02-05


18th Congressional District

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Democrat

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Rep. Eshoo was born in Connecticut, and moved to California after high school. She is the incumbent, having served in Congress since 1993; after the 2012 redistricting the district was renumbered from the 14th to the 18th. Her campaign materials highlight her commitment to gun violence prevention, taking action on climate change, protecting the Affordable Care Act, ensuring net neutrality, as well as immigration reform.

In Congress Eshoo has worked to pass legislation to protect individuals with pre-existing conditions, lower prescription drug prices, and authored an op-ed with Rep. Adam Schiff on the need to reduce American dependence on drugs produced overseas. She supports universal healthcare, but has stopped short of supporting Medicare for All, citing concerns about how it would be funded. She has opposed Trump’s immigration policies, including the Muslim ban, detention centers, the border wall, separating families at the border and making it harder for immigrants to obtain public services, like food stamps. She has fought to protect net neutrality, end robocalls, and worked with Rep. Lofgren on new data and privacy protections.

Eshoo is being challenged by Rishi Kumar (D), Bob Goodwyn (L), Richard Fox (R), and Phil Reynolds (R). According to our analysis, Eshoo is the strongest choice for progressive leadership in office.
 

Last updated: 2020-02-18


21st Congressional District

Terrence John (TJ) Cox photo



Rep. Cox was born in Walnut Creek, California and grew up in the Central Valley, the son of immigrants. He is the incumbent, having served in this position since 2019. According to campaign materials he is running to keep his seat to continue serving the working families of the Central Valley. 

In his first term in Congress, Rep. Cox has worked to secure funds for essential water infrastructure improvements in the Central Valley, to improve healthcare delivery and asthma treatment in rural communities, and to extend clean energy tax credits for business owners. He has also proposed legislation that could help dozens of cities in his district achieve safe drinking water standards, working closely with cities and environmental justice groups across the Valley to draft the bill. Rep. Cox currently chairs a subcommittee of the House Committee on Natural Resources. Prior to his election to Congress, Rep. Cox was an engineer and also created the Central Valley Fund, which raises money for projects located in economically disadvantaged neighborhoods throughout the Central Valley.

Rep. Cox has shown strong support for farmers, rural communities, and veterans in Congress. That said, he has at times voted in support of amendments that have the effect of weakening progressive legislation. 

Unfortunately, Rep. Cox isn’t without complications. His eyebrow-raising business history and practices have come under scrutiny and lawsuits have surfaced accusing Rep. Cox of committing fraud and owing money to investors.

Rep. Cox is being challenged by David Valadao (R), who he bested in 2018 by less than 1,000 votes (and has his own questionable financial history). He is also challenged by Roque "Rocky" De La Fuente (R) and Ricardo De La Fuente (D). According to recent election results, it's rare that Democrats win this seat as Rep. Cox did in 2018. His track record of fighting for Central Valley families and his strong base in a recently flipped district makes him the strongest choice in this race.
 

Last updated: 2020-02-28


24th Congressional District

Salud Carbajal photo
Democrat

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Representative Salud Carbajal, a veteran, was born in Mexico and emigrated as a child with his family to Arizona and later Oxnard, CA. After high school, Carbajal attended the University of California at Santa Barbara (UCSB) and went on to obtain his Master's Degree in Organizational Management from the Fielding University. Carbajal spent eight years in the United States Marine Corps, including active duty during the 1991 Gulf War.

Carbajal was elected to the 24th District in 2017 after serving on the Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors for 12 years. According to campaign materials, he is running for reelection on a platform that promotes a robust Central Coast through investments in infrastructure and housing, renewable energy and environmental protections, and workforce development.

Salud serves on the House Committee on Armed Services, the House Committee on Agriculture, and the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, where he was elected to serve as the Vice Chair. As part of his commitment to renewable energy, Salud’s first act in Congress was to introduce the California Clean Coast Act, which would ban future offshore oil and gas drilling on California’s coast. He also secured $1 million for the Santa Barbara Veterans Treatment Courts and has introduced legislation to combat veteran homelessness.

Representative Carbajal is being challenged by Andy Caldwell (R), a conservative radio host, and Kenneth Young (NPP). Based on our analysis, Rep. Salud Carbajal has consistently demonstrated a commitment to progressive issues, from protecting the environment to ensuring DACA protections remain in place.

According to our analysis, Rep. Carbajal is the strongest choice for progressive leadership in this district.
 

Last updated: 2020-02-05


27th Congressional District

Judy Chu photo
Democrat

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Representative Judy Chu was born in Los Angeles and has lived in Monterey Park, CA, for over 33 years. She is the incumbent, having served in Congress since 2009. According to campaign materials, Rep. Chu is running for congress to continue her fight for progress in the San Gabriel Valley.

In Congress, Rep. Chu has worked with the Department of Defense to address military hazing, pushed to successfully declare the San Gabriel Mountains a national monument, and has established two Small Business Development Centers that have helped spur local economic growth. Rep. Chu currently sits on the House Committees on Ways and Means, Small Businesses, as well as sits on two subcommittees, and is a founder and co-chair of the Congressional Creative Rights Caucus. Prior to her election to Congress, Rep. Chu served on the Garvey School District School Board, Monterey Park City Council, and in the State Assembly.

Rep. Chu is challenged by Beatrice Cardenas (R), Johnny J. Nalbandian (R), and Christian Daly (NPP). According to recent election results, Democrats usually win this seat. Rep. Chu is the best progressive choice because of her track record of fighting for progress for the San Gabriel Valley and her pledge to continue to do so.
 

Last updated: 2020-02-28


37th Congressional District

Karen Bass photo
Democrat

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Representative Karen Bass is from Los Angeles. She is the incumbent, having served in Congress since 2011. According to campaign materials, she is running for re-election to continue to play a leading role in protecting voting rights, healthcare, jobs, education, criminal justice reform, and standing up to the Trump Administration.

In Congress, she has worked to protect peoples’ voting rights, access to healthcare, jobs, quality education, and to hold those in power accountable. She has also advanced progressive policies and instituted initiatives to help Congress better serve the people. Bass developed the Congressional Council, which provides her constituents with the ability to learn about issues in Congress and how they can become involved in the legislative process. Rep. Bass currently sits on the Foreign Affairs Committee, Judiciary Committee, and serves as Chair of the Congressional Black Caucus. Prior to her election to Congress, she served in the State Assembly as the Speaker.

Rep. Bass is being challenged by Errol Webber (R) and Larry Thompson (NPP). Rep. Bass is the best progressive choice because of her proven track record of making government work better for the people it serves.

According to our analysis, Rep. Bass is the strongest choice for progressive leadership in office.

Last updated: 2020-02-28


39th Congressional District

Gil Cisneros photo
Democrat

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Representative Gil Cisneros, a veteran, is from Los Angeles. He is the incumbent, having served in Congress since 2019. According to campaign materials, Rep. Cisneros is running for re-election to ensure future generations have the same opportunities that were available to him through the Navy.  

In Congress, Rep. Cisneros has advocated for quality education, stood up to the insurance and pharmaceutical industry to address high healthcare costs, and worked to bring good-paying jobs to his district. He currently sits on the House Committee on Armed Services and the House Veterans Affairs Committee. Prior to his election to Congress, he served in the United States Navy and was an education advocate. 

Rep. Cisneros has progressive education and economic positions. That said, while we have concerns about some votes, like his vote against an amendment that would have allocated $5 million to combat vaccine misinformation.  

Rep. Cisneros is being challenged by Young Kim (R) and Steve Cox (NPP).  Though we do not agree with all of Rep. Cisneros’s votes, his community support and relationships with progressive partners, his progressive votes on healthcare and other issues make him a strong choice in this race.
 

Last updated: 2020-02-28


45th Congressional District

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Democrat

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Representative Katie Porter is from Fort Dodge, IA, and now resides in Irvine, CA. She is the incumbent, having served in this position since 2019. According to campaign materials, she is running for re-election to hold Republicans and their special interests in Washington accountable.

In Congress, Rep. Porter has played an instrumental role in advancing reforms that have helped American families have a fair economic opportunity by helping pass legislation to fight against abusive credit card fees. Towards the end of 2019, she gained a position on the Committee on Oversight and Reform due to her expert questioning style in Congressional hearings. She also sits on the Committee on Financial Services where she serves on the Consumer Protection and Financial Institutions, as well as the Investor Protection, Entrepreneurship, and Capital Markets subcommittees. Prior to Rep. Porter’s election to Congress, she was a law professor at UC Irvine and a consumer rights advocate, where she defended working families against predatory banking practices.

Rep. Porter is running against Greg Raths (R), Don Sedwick (R), Lisa Sparks, Rhonda Furin (R), Christopher J. Gonzales (R), Peggy Huang (R). According to recent election results, it's rare that Democrats win this seat. Porter's ability to flip this seat, her pledge to always put working-class families first, and her relationships with progressive partners, help to build progressive momentum and makes her the strong choice in this race. 

Last updated: 2020-02-28


48th Congressional District

Harley Rouda photo
Democrat

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Rep. Harley Rouda has lived in California since 2007 and is a resident of Laguna Beach. He is the incumbent, having served in this position since 2019. According to campaign materials, Rep. Rouda is running for re-election to be a Congressional representative who is accessible and unifying, and to provide leadership that is puts country over party and service above self.

In Congress, Rep. Rouda has authored legislation to protect vulnerable coastal communities impacted by the climate crisis, ensure fair lending to LGBTQ-owned businesses, and to hold manufacturing polluters accountable for water contamination. He currently serves as Chair of the Oversight and Reform’s Subcommittee on Environment. Prior to his election to Congress, Rep. Rouda worked as a lawyer and was an active supporter of Orange County charities working to address issues including domestic violence and homelessness.

Rep. Rouda is being challenged by John Thomas Schuesler (R), Michelle Steel (R), Richard Mata (AI), Brian Burley (R), and James Brian Griffin (R). According to recent election results, it's rare that Democrats wins this seat, as Rep. Rouda did in 2018. In fact, he is the first Democrat to win since the district was created in 1992.

Rep. Rouda’s track record of fighting for important environmental protections, his work to protect communities under attack, and his strong base in the district he managed to flip in 2018 make him the strongest choice for progressive leadership in this race.
 

Last updated: 2020-02-28


49th Congressional District

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Democrat

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Representative Mike Levin was raised in South Orange County and Los Angeles before moving away briefly for university and law school. He has returned to live in Orange County, where he currently represents District 49 in Congress.

Rep. Levin was elected to Congress in 2018 and he has been a champion on issues of sustainability and climate change. He is a member of the Natural Resources and Veterans Affairs Committees, as well as the Select Committee on the Climate Crisis. He has sponsored legislation across a broad range of progressive issues, including electoral reforms, protection of voting rights, protection against discrimination, pay equity, and environmental protections. Prior to his election to Congress, Rep. Levin was a bold advocate for clean energy and sustainability in Orange County, San Diego, and beyond.

Rep. Levin is being challenged by Brian Maryott (R), a conservative businessman and mayor of San Juan Capistrano. Rep. Levin stands out as a strong progressive voice in Congress who has had significant impact in his first term. According to recent election results, this has been a tough race for Democrats to win, as Levin did in 2018. His strong progressive track record and ability to keep this flipped district make him the strongest choice in this race.
 

Last updated: 2020-02-28


50th Congressional District

Ammar Campa-Najjar photo

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Ammar Campa-Najjar was born and raised in San Diego. According to campaign materials he is running to represent District 50 in Congress to fight for real ethics and campaign finance reform, while protecting an individual’s right to personal health, safety, and economic dignity. 

Campa-Najjar has served in a White House position in the Executive Office of the President, at the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, and at the U.S. Department of Labor, where he led the Office of Public Affairs for the Employment and Training Administration. His first work experience was as a church janitor to help contribute to his family’s economic security. Through his professional experiences, Campa-Najjar has helped to promote the economic growth of more than 4 million Latinx-owned small businesses, expanded aid for farm workers, launched youth summer jobs programs, and advanced veteran employment opportunities. 

This is Campa-Najjar’s second attempt at running for Congressional District 50. In 2018, Campa-Najjar came in second, after what was widely described as an ugly, racist congressional campaign in which Campa-Najjar was smeared by Representative Duncan Hunter, as well as Hunter’s father, a former congressman. Rep. Hunter has since resigned after pleading guilty to conspiracy to misuse campaign funds.

Camapa-Najjar’s campaign has decent childcare, education, and campaign finance reform positions. That said, in this second attempt at running for Congressional District 50, Campa-Najjar has fallen short on advocating for large structural healthcare reform, has said that we would have abstained from voting on impeachment, and has even claimed that he will be a conservative voice for his district. 

Challengers include Brian Jones (R), Carl DeMaio (R), Darrell Issa (R), Helen Horvath (NPP), Henry Ota (NPP), Jose Cortes (Peace and Freedom), Lucinda Jahn (NPP), Marisa Calderon (D), and Nathan Wilkins (R). One notable challenger is former House Congressmember Republican Darrell Issa, who was in office from 2001 to 2019. While in office, Issa played a prominent role in GOP-led investigations of the Obama administration in his role as chairman of the House Oversight and Reform Committee. Rep. Issa is currently attracting attention for his troubling campaign advertising strategy, which has been criticized for attempting to use another challenger’s sexual orientation against him. 

According to recent election results, it's very challenging for a Democrat to win this district. Though we disagree with Campa-Najjar’s healthcare and impeachment stances, as well as his self-proclaimed conservative title, in this crowded field, Campa-Najjar stands out as the best choice because of his commitment to public service, his campaign’s comprehensive policy platform, and his proven ability to compete in his district.

According to our analysis, Ammar Campa-Najjar is the strongest choice for Congressional District 50 and deserves your vote.
 

Last updated: 2020-02-28


State Assembly

State Assembly, 2nd District

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Democrat

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Representative Jim Wood moved to Northern California in 1987. He is the incumbent, having served in this position since 2014. According to campaign materials he is running for re-election because he wants to continue to improve environmental protections, economic development, and health care.

In the State Assembly, Rep. Wood authored several key bills to address healthcare, the environment and immigration. His “Pay to Delay” bill prevents drug companies from delaying production of generic drugs. He voted to end transporting oil to the state from oil from offshore drilling facilities, to provide information to residents potentially impacted by pollution in their language, and to protect personal data from being used to deport Californians. He currently chairs the Assembly Health Committee. Prior to his election to Assembly District 2, he served two terms as mayor of Healdsburg.

Rep. Wood is being challenged by Charlotte Svolos (R). He has scored a lifetime 82 out of 100 on Courage Score, our annual analysis of a legislator's progressive voting records. Based on our Courage Score analysis, Rep. Wood has shown some willingness to advocate for the needs of constituents and face down corporate lobbyists and interest groups that exploit Californians. That said, his fierce opposition to Medicare-for-All, and his role in undermining the single-payer health care movement in California are of grave concern.

According to our analysis, Rep. Wood is the strongest choice for progressive leadership in office, particularly given the positions of the only other candidate on the ballot.
 

Last updated: 2020-02-21


State Assembly, 15th District

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Democrat

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Buffy Wicks was raised in rural California and permanently moved to Oakland in 2016. She is the incumbent, having served in this position since 2019. According to campaign materials she is running for re-election because she is a lifelong Californian and a former grassroots organizer who wants to use her federal and local experience to continue to fight for equity and economic security in the region.

In the State Assembly, Wicks has introduced a renter’s protection bill, championed consumer protections, authored a bill to reestablish California's Healthy Start program to connect children and families with critical services, and joined a gun violence prevention working group. Wicks serves on five Assembly committees, including Budget, Public Safety, Banking and Finance, Privacy and Consumer Protection, and Rules. Prior to her election to the State Assembly, Wicks campaigned for Howard Dean, and ran field operations for Barack Obama in 2008 and 2012. Wicks served as the Deputy Director of the White House Office of Public Engagement during the Obama Administration and worked to advocate for the Affordable Care Act. After leaving the White House, Wicks was a Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress where she focused much of her work on seeking innovative ways to establish economic security for women and families.

Wicks is being challenged by Sara Brink (NPP) and Jeanne Solnordal (R). In 2019, she scored a 100 out of 100 on Courage Score, our annual analysis of legislator's progressive voting records. Based on our Courage Score analysis, Wicks has consistently shown great courage in advocating for the needs of constituents and facing down corporate lobbyists and interest groups that exploit Californians.

According to our analysis, Buffy Wicks is the strongest choice for progressive leadership in office.
 

Last updated: 2020-02-21


State Assembly, 16th District

Rebecca Bauer-Kahan  photo

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Rebecca Bauer-Kahan was raised in the Bay Area. She is the incumbent, having served in this position since 2018. According to campaign materials she is running for re-election to continue to use her leadership position to advocate for social issues and improve equity in the community.

In the State Assembly, Bauer-Kahan has worked on legislation to reallocate public funding to parks and schools and transportation projects, to protect women’s health and abortion rights, to codify standards for serving food allergens, and to instate protections for California college students. Shortly after her election in 2018, she was selected to serve as Assistant Speaker pro Tempore in the Assembly. She currently serves as Chair of the Select Committee on Women’s Reproductive Health, and sits on an additional four committees, including Environmental Safety & Toxic Materials, Privacy and Consumer Protection, Public Safety, and Banking & Finance.

Prior to her election to the State Assembly, Bauer-Kahan worked as an attorney, primarily on cases related to corporate environmental compliance and intellectual property. Her work involved an investigation of company practices, a detailed understanding of existing regulations, and how to balance compliance with profitability. Additionally, she has taught law at Santa Clara University and Golden Gate University. Bauer-Kahan has also used her professional credentials to benefit her community by growing her office’s pro-bono program to address cases related to civil rights and homelessness, and by partnering with the International Refugee Assistance Project (IRAP) to provide legal services at San Francisco International Airport after the Trump Administration’s travel ban.

Bauer-Kahan is being challenged by Joseph Rubay (R). In 2019, she scored an 81 out of 100 on Courage Score, our annual analysis of legislator's progressive voting records. Based on our Courage Score analysis, Bauer-Kahan has consistently shown great courage in advocating for the needs of constituents and facing down corporate lobbyists and interest groups that exploit Californians.

According to our analysis, Rebecca Bauer-Kahan is the strongest choice for progressive leadership in office.
 

Last updated: 2020-02-21


State Assembly, 17th District

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Democrat

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David Chiu is from Boston and moved to San Francisco in 1996. He is the incumbent, having served in this position since 2014. According to campaign materials he is running for re-election to continue to use his long history as a consensus-building public leader to move policy forward on a range of progressive issues.

In the State Assembly, Chiu was appointed to serve as the Assistant Speaker pro Tempore during his first year, and has authored 48 bills that have been signed into law. Included among those bills is legislation to address the state’s affordable housing and homeless crisis, uphold abortion rights, and improve the sustainability of public transportation. Chiu currently Chairs the Assembly Housing & Community Development Committee, and serves as the Chair of the California Asian Pacific Islander Legislative Caucus, and sits on four additional committees. Prior to his election to the State Assembly, Chiu served as the President of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors for six years, where he authored 110 city ordinances. Chiu spent his early career working as a civil rights attorney for the San Francisco District Attorney’s Office, and the U.S. Senate Constitution Subcommittee. Chiu also founded a public affairs technology company called Grassroots Enterprise, where he served as the Chief Operating Officer.

Chiu has no challengers in this race. He scores a lifetime 98 out of 100 on Courage Score, our annual analysis of a legislator’s progressive voting record. Based on our Courage Score analysis, Chiu has consistently shown great courage advocating or the needs of constituents and facing down corporate lobbyists and interest groups that exploit Californians.

According to our analysis, David Chiu is the strongest choice for progressive leadership in office.
 

Last updated: 2020-02-21


State Assembly, 18th District

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Democrat

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Rob Bonta was born in the Philippines and has lived in California since childhood. He is the incumbent, having served in this position since 2013, when he became the first Filipino to serve in the California legislature. According to campaign materials he is running for re-election to improve schools, increase local safety, and build economic prosperity in the region.

In the State Assembly, Bonta has worked to restore local funding to East Bay public schools, co-authored legislation on cannabis regulation, and helped to establish worker protections and minimum wage increases. He currently serves as the Assistant Majority Leader in the Assembly, and sits on four committees. Prior to his election to the State Assembly, Bonta was the Deputy Attorney for the City and County of San Francisco, where he worked on a variety of cases aimed at consumer and civil rights protections. Bonta started his career in public service as a member of the Alameda Health Care District Board of Directors, served as the board president for the Social Service Human Relations Board, and was eventually elected to City Council where he served as the Vice Mayor of the City of Alameda. In these local roles, Bonta impacted policy around business retention, hospital financing, and youth development programs.

Bonta is being challenged by Stephen Slauson (R). He scores a lifetime 98 out of 100 on Courage Score, our annual analysis of legislators’ progressive voting record. Based on our Courage Score analysis, Bonta has consistently shown great courage by advocating for the needs of constituents and facing down corporate lobbyists and interest groups that exploit Californians.

According to our analysis, Rob Bonta is the strongest choice for progressive leadership in office.
 

Last updated: 2020-02-21


State Assembly, 24th District

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Democrat

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Marc Berman was raised in Palo Alto. He is the incumbent, having served in this position since 2017. According to campaign materials he is running for re-election because he wants to use his long history of public service to continue to push California forward on election security and higher education accessibility.

In the State Assembly, Berman has authored bills that sought to improve election cybersecurity and campaign finance disclosure, improve the census process for 2020, and ease the food stamp and public housing verification process. Berman has also been deliberate in working to ensure that California students have access to the public university system in the state regardless of their socioeconomic status. He currently serves as the Chair of the Elections & Redistricting Committee, Chair of the Select Committee on Master Plan for Higher Education in California, and Chair of the Select Committee on Census, and is also an acting member of two additional committees. Prior to his election to the Assembly, Berman worked with the Silicon Valley Education Foundation to support efforts to close the achievement gap through STEM education in Silicon Valley. Berman was then an elected member of the Palo Alto City Council where he worked to develop public infrastructure projects, and increase the city’s financial transparency.

Berman is being challenged by Peter Ohtaki (R) and Kennita Watson (L). He scores a lifetime 92 out of 100 on Courage Score, our annual analysis of a legislators’ progressive voting record. Based on our Courage Score analysis, Berman has consistently shown great courage advocating for the needs of constituents and facing down corporate lobbyists and interest groups that exploit Californians.

According to our analysis, Marc Berman is the strongest choice for progressive leadership in office.
 

Last updated: 2020-02-21


State Assembly, 43rd District

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Assemblymember Laura Friedman is a longtime Glendale resident. She is the incumbent, having served as Assemblymember for the 43rd District in the State Assembly since 2016. According to campaign materials, she is running for re-election to continue her work as a strong advocate for the environment.

As an Assemblymember, Friedman has authored and led the passage of several bills related to small business and innovation, and has worked to save developmental disability services, protect public health, and preserve civil rights. Assemblymember Friedman currently serves as Chair of the Assembly Committee on Natural Resources, which covers air quality, climate change, renewable energy, coastal protection, and other environmental issues. Prior to her election to the State Assembly, she served seven years on the Glendale City Council, including a term as the Mayor of Glendale.

Assemblymember Friedman is being challenged by Mike Graves (R), and Robert J. Sexton (NPP). She has a lifetime score of 99 out of 100 on Courage Score, our annual analysis of a legislator's progressive voting record. Based on this analysis, Assemblymember Friedman has consistently shown great courage advocating for the needs of constituents and facing down corporate lobbyists and interest groups that exploit Californians.

According to our analysis, Assemblymember Friedman is the strongest choice for progressive leadership in office.
 

Last updated: 2020-02-29


State Assembly, 51st District

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Asm. Wendy Carrillo is from El Salvador and moved to the Boyle Heights neighborhood in 1985. She has lived in Los Angeles since and first won her seat in 2017. Her campaign materials cite educational opportunities, quality healthcare, living wage jobs, and social justice as her priorities in office.

In the Assembly, Carrillo serves on the Appropriations, Rules, Labor, Health and Utilities & Energy Committees. She was recently a co-author of AB1482, which protects renters from unjust evictions and unreasonable rent increases – it was signed into law in late 2019. Before serving in the Assembly, she was a journalist covering human rights and hosted a community-based progressive radio show.

Carrillo is running unopposed. In our Courage Score analysis, Carrillo earned a score of 90 out of 100 in 2019 and, prior to that, had a lifetime score of 100. She consistently demonstrates courage when advocating for constituents against corporate lobbyists and interest groups. 

According to our analysis, Carrillo is the strongest choice for progressive leadership in office.

Last updated: 2020-02-29


State Assembly, 66th District

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Democrat

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Al Muratsuchi has lived in Southern California for nearly 25 years. He is the incumbent, having served in this position since 2016. According to campaign materials, he is for re-election to bring good jobs and quality education to his district, as well as improve environmental protections and veteran services. 

In the Assembly, Muratsuchi has advanced legislation to keep aerospace jobs in the state, increase funding for public education, oppose oil drilling throughout California’s coastlines, and to improve the services provided to homeless and disabled veterans. Muratsuchi currently sits on the Budget Committee, Environmental Safety and Toxins Materials Committee, Natural Resources Committee, Utilities and Energy Committee, and the Veteran Affairs Committee. Prior to his election to the State Assembly, he served as a Torrance School Board member and as a Deputy Attorney General in the California Department of Justice.

Muratsuchi is a supporter of progressive economic policies and environmental protections. Our environmental justice allies work with him closely in advancing environmental priorities. That said, he has a clear history of casting bad votes on criminal justice reform measures. In 2019, he scored a 64 out of 100 on Courage Score, and has a lifetime score of 58, mostly due to his continued unwillingness to support progressive justice reforms. His district is somewhat purple, but his constituents have consistently voted in support of reforming our racist, broken criminal justice system. It is deeply troubling that Muratsuchi refuses to join them.

Muratsuchi is running against Angelica Scherp (D), Connie Sullivan (D), Richard Vaugh (D), Margie Hoyt (D), Stacey Golden (D), Cathy Familathe (D), Sara Deen (D), Donald Dear (D), Bobbi Buecher (D), Thomas Brewer (R), Janice Webb (R), Peter Michel (R), Martha Logan (R), Johnny Lauro (R), Williams Valladares (R), Eric Schuchman (R), Frank Scotto (R), Arthur Schaper (R). Though we disagree with Muratsuchi’s stances and votes on criminal justice reform, his local support and relationships with community leaders support progressive momentum and make him a strong choice in this race. That said, a viable progressive challenger would deserve a close look.
 

Last updated: 2020-06-17


State Assembly, 68th District

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Melissa Fox is from Orange County and currently resides in Irvine, CA. According to campaign materials, she is running for Assembly to be the leader her district needs to represent their interests and values in the capital.

Fox currently serves on the Irvine City Council and on the board of the Orange County Fire Authority, where she strives to improve the quality of life and safety of those in her community. Fox has also served as Chair of the Irvine Community Land Trust, Vice Chair of the Orange County Great Park, and was the founder of The Fox Firm. Through these positions she has increased access to affordable housing, successfully represented businesses in court, and fought fraudulent activities.

Fox is running against Steven “Steve” Choi (R), who is the incumbent and has held the seat since 2016, as well as Eugene Fields (D), and Benjamin Yu (R). According to recent election results, it's difficult for Democrats to win this seat. Fox is the best progressive choice because of her vision to enact progressive policies that will grow the middle-class, preserve the environment, addressing public safety concerns, and hold government accountable.

According to our analysis, Fox is the strongest choice for progressive leadership in office.
 

Last updated: 2020-02-24


State Assembly, 72nd District

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Diedre Nguyen is from Saigon, Vietnam, and has resided in Garden Grove, CA since 1995. According to campaign materials, she is running for Assembly to represent her community’s working class interests by fighting to increase access to economic opportunities.

Diedre Nguyen is a member of the Garden Grove City Council and a Laboratory Cancer Scientist, which she does to advance cancer research, improve access to quality education, spur local business growth, increase job opportunities, and address public safety concerns. Diedre Nguyen has also served on the boards of the Lunar New Year TET Parade, Vietnamese Young Marines, and as Vice-Chair of the Hurricane Haiyan Philippines Fundraiser, and has been appointed to various other Vietnamese community positions where she successfully worked to bring her community together to solve issues and promote diversity.

Diedre Nguyen is running against Tyler Diep (R), who is the incumbent and has held the seat since 2018, as well as Bijan Mohseni (D) and Janet Nguyen (R). According to recent election results, it's challenging for that Democrats to win this seat. Diedre Nguyen is the best progressive choice because of her track record of community service in the Garden Grove community, as well as her vision to fight for an economy that works for everyone in her district, not just those at the top.

According to our analysis, Diedre Nguyen is the strongest choice for progressive leadership in office.
 

Last updated: 2020-02-24


State Assembly, 74th District

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Representative Cottie Petrie-Norris is from San Diego County and currently resides in Laguna Beach, CA. She is the incumbent, having served in this position since 2018. According to campaign materials, she is running to keep her seat to address quality of life issues and support her community in the State Legislature.

In the State Assembly, she has authored bills that have been signed into law that aimed to improve access to water, elderly support services, and establish environmental protections. Rep. Petrie-Norris currently serves as Chair on the Accountability & Administrative Review Committee. Prior to her election to the State Assembly, she worked in finance and technology for startups, small companies, and Fortune 500 corporations.

Rep. Petrie-Norris has progressive economic, education, environment, and healthcare stances. That said, she has voted against key progressive bills on increasing access to affordable housing and issues pertaining to criminal justice reform.

Rep. Petrie-Norris is being challenged by Diane Dixon (R) and Kelly Ernbym (R). In 2020 she scored a 34 out of 100 on Courage Score, our annual analysis of a legislator's progressive voting records. According to recent election results, it's challenging for Democrats to win this seat. Though we disagree with Rep. Petrie-Norris’ stance on affordable housing and reforms to our criminal justice system, her relationships with partners and strong base in a recently flipped district helps advance progressive policies and makes her a strong choice in this race.
 

Last updated: 2020-02-24


State Assembly, 76th District

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Tasha Boerner Horvath is from Encinitas and has lived in North San Diego County all her life. She is the incumbent, having served in this position since 2018. According to campaign materials, she is running for State Assembly to fight for a sustainable, prosperous, and safe North San Diego County.

In the State Assembly, she authored the “Equal Pay for Equal Play” bill, which requires gender-equal prizes for all sporting competitions held on state lands. Boerner Horvarth currently chairs the Select Committee on Sea Level Rise and the California Economy. Prior to her election to the State Assembly, she served on the Encinitas City Council. 

While Boerner Horvath has supported some progressive policies, she has NOT supported legislation on a variety of key progressive issues, such as criminal justice reform and banking reform. 

Tasha Boerner Horvath is running against Melanie Burkholder (R). Assemblywoman Boerner Horvath has a lifetime Courage Score of 40, our annual analysis of a legislator's progressive voting record. This district was held by Republicans until Borner Horvath flipped it in 2018. While we disagree with her votes on the issues listed above, given the district's history, her support on some progressive issues, and a conservative opponent, Boerner Horvath is the most progressive candidate on the ballot.

According to our analysis, Tasha Boerner Horvath is the strongest choice for this seat.
 

Last updated: 2020-02-25


State Assembly, 80th District

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Assemblymember Lorena Gonzalez is the daughter of an immigrant farmworker and a nurse who grew up in North San Diego County. She is the incumbent, having served in this position since 2013. 

In the State Assembly, Rep. Gonzalez has authored numerous pieces of legislation with significant progressive victories every year she has served in office. Rep. Gonzalez chairs the powerful Appropriations Committee and heads the California Latino Legislative Caucus. She also serves on the Judiciary and Labor and Employment Committees, Chairs the Committee on Women in the Workplace and serves on numerous other select committees. Prior to her election to the State Assembly, she served Secretary-Treasurer for the San Diego and Imperial Counties Labor Council, AFL-CIO.

Assemblymember Gonzalez is being challenged by Lincoln Pickard ( R), and John J. Vogel (R). In 2019 Gonzalez scored a 98 out of 100 on Courage Score, our annual analysis of a legislator's progressive voting records, showing she has consistently shown great courage advocating for the needs of constituents and facing down corporate lobbyists and interest groups that exploit Californians. 

According to our analysis, Assemblymember Gonzalez is the strongest choice for progressive leadership in office.

Last updated: 2020-02-21


State Senate

State Senator, 15th District

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Ann Ravel was born in Chile, moved to San Jose when she was 11 years old, and raised her family in District 15. According to campaign materials, she is running to bring her lifetime of advocacy and social justice experience to the State Senate to continue to work for the protection and empowerment of marginalized communities.

Ravel is an accomplished attorney, which she says allows her to hold special interest groups accountable and improve equity for Californians. Ravel’s interest in activism began before she completed her law degree, when she worked to improve labor conditions by helping to unionize the wait staff at a restaurant where she worked. After completing her J.D., Ravel acted as the Santa Clara County Counsel for over a decade, working to restrict Big Tobacco and Big Banks, challenge Prop 8, protect children from lead paint, and create the Educational Rights Project to protect youth living in foster care. Ravel then served as Deputy Assistant Attorney General in the Department of Justice, where she continued her work to hold corporations accountable, including BP and the pharmaceutical industry. Ravel was then appointed by Governor Brown to serve as the Chair of the Fair Political Practices Commission, where she led efforts to push back against the dark money being used to push through Proposition 32. After demonstrating her ethics in this role, she was selected by President Obama to serve on the Federal Election Commission and was confirmed with a unanimous Senate vote. Today, Ravel is suing Google to adjust their practices around sexual misconduct and retaliation against female employees.

Ravel is running against candidate Nora Campos (D), Dave Cortese (D), Ken Del Valle (R), Robert Howell(R), Johnny Khamis (NPP), and Tim Gildersleeve (NPP) in this open race. According to recent election results, Democrats usually win this seat. Ravel is a noteable progressive choice because of her lifelong commitment to working to improve the experience of Californians by holding powerful entities accountable.

According to our analysis, Ann Ravel is a strong choice for progressive leadership in office.
 

Last updated: 2020-02-24


State Senator, 19th District

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Monique Limón is a lifelong resident of Santa Barbara. According to campaign materials, she is running for State Senate because she understands the values of the region and will use her public service experience to advocate for environmental protection, educational reforms, and improved healthcare access.

Limón is a member of the California State Assembly, where she uses her understanding of her community to establish meaningful legislation to positively impact educational outcomes and environmental protections. She acted as the Chair of the Assembly Select Committee on Natural Disaster Response, Recovery, and Rebuilding, and worked to improve emergency communication and fire prevention. Prior to serving in the Assembly, Limón served two terms on the Santa Barbara Unified School Board, and acted as the Assistant Director for the McNair Scholars program at UCSB.

Limón is running for this open seat against Gary J. Michaels (R), and Anastasia Stone (NPP). In 2019 she scored a 90 out of 100 on Courage Score, our annual analysis of a legislator's progressive voting records. According to recent election results, Democrats can win this seat but it's often a close race. Limón is the most progressive choice because of her track record of championing education reform, working toward stronger environmental protections, and pushing for improved emergency responses.

According to our analysis, Monique Limón is the strongest choice for progressive leadership in office.
 

Last updated: 2020-02-24


State Senator, 23rd District

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Democrat



Abigail Medina currently resides in San Bernardino County. According to campaign materials, she is running for State Senate to improve educational opportunities for her district and to be a voice for historically marginalized communities. 

Medina serves as the Board President of the San Bernardino City Unified School District (SBCUSD) and Executive Director of Inland Region Equality Network (IREN), where she works to improve youth educational opportunities and elevate disadvantaged communities. While sitting on the school board, Medina has helped improve SBCUSD’s graduation rate from 70 percent, in 2013, to 90 percent, in 2018, and as ED of IREN, Medina has advanced initiatives in the Inland region to empower the LGBTQ+ community. Medina has also worked for the California Association for the Gifted, Congregation Organized for Prophetic Engagement (COPE), Health Advocates, and the District African American Council.

Medina is running against Kris Goodfellow (D), Rosilicie Ochoa Bogh (R), Cristina Puraci (R), and Lloyd White (R) for this open seat. According to recent election results, it's rare that Democrats win this seat. Medina stands out as the progressive choice because of her proven track record of being a community advocate and her ability to solve the issues faced by her community. 

According to our analysis, Medina is the strongest choice for progressive leadership in office.
 

Last updated: 2020-02-28


State Senator, 29th District

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Josh Newman is a veteran from Orange County and currently resides in Fullerton, CA. According to campaign materials, he is running for State Senate to stand up for California by putting people and working families' needs over corporate interests.

Newman previously served as a State Senator, where he focused on advancing policies to improve veteran and mental health services, as well as initiatives to promote public education, jobs, and infrastructure improvements. Following the legislature's approval of a bill to repair the state’s aging transportation infrastructure in 2017, Senate Bill 1, Newman was singled out by a well-funded, hyper-partisan campaign that resulted in his recall. Prior to his election to the State Senate, he served as a United States Army officer, business owner, as well as a veteran and community activist.

Newman is running against Ling Ling Chang (R) who is the incumbent and has held the seat since 2018, and Joseph Cho, Ph.D. (D). Newman is the best progressive choice because of his track record of putting the people of California above politics.

According to our analysis, Newman is the strongest choice for progressive leadership in office.

Last updated: 2020-02-28


State Senator, 33rd District

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State Senator Lena Gonzalez is from Los Angeles and now resides in Long Beach, CA. She is the incumbent, having served in this position since 2019. According to campaign materials, she is running for State Senate to be a bold leader that represents the diverse needs of her district.

As a State Senator, Gonzalez has advanced policies that aim to create an inclusive economy, protect the environment, and build a strong future by providing youth with STEM opportunities. Gonzalez currently sits on the Senate Health Committee, Senate Judiciary Committee and the Joint Legislative Audit Committee. Prior to her election to the State Senate, she served on the Long Beach City Council and worked in the civic engagement investing division at Microsoft.

Gonzalez is running unopposed. She has a lifetime score of 100 out of 100 on Courage Score, our annual analysis of a legislator's progressive voting record. Based on our Courage Score analysis, Gonzalez has consistently shown great courage advocating for the needs of constituents and facing down corporate lobbyists and interest groups that exploit Californians.

According to our analysis, Gonzalez is likely to provide very strong progressive leadership in office.

Last updated: 2020-02-28


State Senator, 37th District

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Democrat



Katrina Foley is a Democrat who is serving her second term as mayor of Costa Mesa, in Orange County. She is running on a platform to address the homeless crisis, climate change, education, and healthcare.

Foley previously served on Costa Mesa's City Council and Newport Mesa Unified School District Board of Trustees from November 2010 to November 2014. She is an attorney and owns her own practice, The Foley Group.

During her tenure as mayor, Foley ended a lawsuit that followed attempts to enforce anti-encampment laws by agreeing to build a 50 person homeless shelter. A temporary shelter was constructed, and a permanent one is being built near John Wayne Airport. On her campaign site, Foley has stated she would push for renewable energy, Community Choice Energy, and more electric car charging stations, particularly in low-income areas, and better fuel efficiency standards. While campaigning, Foley has spoken against Schools & Communities First, a November 2020 statewide ballot measure to increase funding for schools and other local government services by reforming California's broken commercial property tax system. We strongly disagree with her position. (Please note: Schools & Communities First will not affect the residential property tax system.)

Foley has support from other elected leaders in Orange County as well as labor organizations such as the California Labor Federation, the Orange County Labor Federation (OCLF), the Orange County Employees Association (OCEA) and the California State Council of Laborers (LiUNA), among others. She is also endorsed by EMILY's List and NARAL Pro-Choice America.

According to our analysis, Katrina Foley would be a strong choice in this purple district.

Last updated: 2020-02-27