California Primary Election: A Voter’s Guide to the San Francisco Bay Area, What to Know About June 7
Below, you’ll find a list of some of the highly anticipated races in the San Francisco Bay Area, along with details on when and where your mail-in ballot should be postmarked.
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What do you want to know
All active registered voters in California will receive a mail-in ballot for the June 7 primary election.
Return your absentee ballot by mail with prepaid postage as long as it is postmarked on or before June 7 and received by June 14, or in person in a secure ballot box, at a location polling station or at your county election office by 8 p.m. on June 7.
In-person polling stations will offer voter registration, replacement ballots, accessible voting machines and language assistance to those who need it.
Voting centers open in all Voter Choice Act counties on May 28.
Your primary ballot will include candidates for U.S. Senate, Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Secretary of State, Comptroller, Treasurer, Attorney General, Insurance Commissioner, Member of the State Board of Equalization, State Superintendent at the Public Instruction, U.S. Representative to Congress, State Senator. , member of the National Assembly, as well as other local candidates.
There are two contests for the US Senate on this ballot. You can vote for both competitions.
Bay Area Races to Watch
San Francisco District Attorney
Progressive District Attorney Chesa Boudin, elected on a platform of reduced incarceration, faces a pandemic-driven recall election in which brutal attacks on elderly Asians and viral images of robberies armed robbery tested the notoriously liberal political leanings of the residents. Recall supporters say Boudin is inexperienced and ideologically inflexible, often seeking to avoid indicting criminals and siding with the offenders rather than the victims. Its prosecutors are not allowed to seek cash bail, try minors as adults, or seek longer sentences for gang-affiliated perpetrators. Boudin’s supporters say his platform is in line with voters who endorsed sentence reduction measures. They say conservative interests have exploited high-profile tragedies to make it all Boudin’s fault when crime rates are much higher in districts with traditional prosecutors. Political pundits, and Boudin himself, say he bears the brunt of the general angst. Click here for the latest information on the SF DA recall.
Mayor of San Jose
Current San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo is ending at the end of 2022, having served since 2014. Now seven candidates are vying for the job. On June 7, if a candidate obtains more than 50% of the votes, he wins immediately. Otherwise, the top two candidates go to the November general election. Some candidate names will be familiar to South Bay voters. Candidates include Santa Clara County Supervisor Cindy Chavez and San Jose Council members Dev Davis, Matt Mahan and Raul Peralez.
Santa Clara County District Attorney
Current Santa Clara County District Attorney Jeff Rosen faces two adversaries. One was previously a prosecutor in Rosen’s office, the other is a public defender. Rosen has served as a district attorney since 2011. The Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office is the largest district attorney’s office north of Los Angeles. (On June 7, if a candidate gets more than 50% of the vote, they win outright. Otherwise, the top two candidates go to the November general election.)
Santa Clara County Sheriff
For the first time in 24 years, voters in Santa Clara County will not see Laurie Smith’s name on the ballot. After a two-decade term as sheriff, Smith announced in March that she would not run again and plans to retire when her term ends in January. Smith has faced calls to step down following a myriad of scandals, including allegations of bribery and prison mismanagement by a grand jury last December. (On June 7, if a candidate gets more than 50% of the vote, they win outright. Otherwise, the top two candidates go to the November general election.)
Alameda County District Attorney
It will be the first time in decades that an incumbent will not be on the Alameda County District Attorney’s ballot. Nancy O’Malley, who has been DA since 2009, is not running for election. Whoever is elected to the seat will go down in history – all four candidates are black and Alameda County has never had a black district attorney. (On June 7, if a candidate gets more than 50% of the vote, they win outright. Otherwise, the top two candidates go to the November general election.)
State races to watch
California Attorney General Rob Bonta was appointed by Governor Gavin Newsom to the post last year. He faces opposition from candidates including Anne Marie Schubert, the Sacramento County prosecutor who is running as an independent, and Republican Nathan Hochman.
Governor Gavin Newsom survived November’s recall attempt and now the governor’s primary is filled with dozens of challengers. An interesting challenger is Bay Area environmentalist turned homeless policy advocate Michael Shellenberger, the author of “San Fransicko: How Progressives Ruin Cities.” He is a Democrat-turned-Independent and is running as a “no-party” candidate. Click here to hear Shellenberger.
Californians will vote twice on this. First, vote for someone to finish Vice President Kamala Harris’ term, which ends January 3, 2023. And then vote for the new 6-year term, which ends January 3, 2029.
Congressional District 15
US Representative Jackie Speier, who joined Congress after winning the 2008 election, endorsed Kevin Mullin as her successor. The former South San Francisco mayor, who has served in the Assembly since 2014, could face stiff competition from San Mateo County Supervisor David Canepa and Burlingame City Councilwoman Emily Beach.
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