With the 2022 California midterm elections less than a week away, it’s time to take a look at the candidates running for state offices, such as governor, lieutenant governor and attorney general.
Ballots have been mailed out and ballot drop-off locations are accepting early voting to avoid long lines on Nov. 8, election day.
Brian Dahle, Republican Senator/Farmer
Dahle is a California Senator from the rural city of Bieber, north of Sacramento and has served as a Senator since 2019, filling the vacant 1st district seat through a special election. Below are multiple points Dahle made during his only debate against Gov. Gavin Newsom.
Dahle on Climate Change:
There’s nobody who cares about the climate than myself. I’m a farmer, I’m in tune with the climate every day and it is changing, no doubt about it, but the policies that he (Gov. Gavin Newsom) has put forward aren’t doing anything to actually help the climate. He is driving up the cost of gasoline and electricity. Californians are suffering and they’re fleeing to other states.”
Dahle on Homelessness:
“I Commit To Declaring Homelessness A Public Health Crisis. We have a housing crisis, which hits the poorest Californians hardest. Streamline housing production and we’ll ease the pressure. Drug addiction drives many people to the street and keeps them there. We must treat the drug crisis with urgency, hammering suppliers while helping addicts into recovery. We can’t just lock people up because they’re sick, but California needs better tools to steer those who need into psychiatric care. There’s nothing compassionate about letting people spiral into crisis while living on the street.”
Dahle on Crime:
“I Commit To Keeping Our Communities Safe And Holding Criminals Accountable. I will appoint a Parole Board that will not allow for the early release of violent and repeat offenders. I will fully fund the Armed and Prohibited Persons System to take guns out of the hands of felons.”
Governor Gavin Newsom, Democrat
Newsom assumed office in 2019 after taking over for Governor Jerry Brown. Before his position as governor, Newsom served as Lt. Governor for eight years and mayor of San Francisco for seven years before that.
Newsom on Climate Change:
“The best science tells us that we need to act now to adapt to California’s water future. Climate change means drought won’t just stick around for two years at a time like it historically has – extreme weather is the new normal here in the American West and California will adapt to this new reality. California is launching an aggressive plan to rebuild the way we source, store and deliver water so our kids and grandkids can continue to call California home in this hotter, drier climate.”
Newsom on Crime After Announcing his Public Safety Plan:
“We’re not walking back on our commitment in this state to advance comprehensive reforms, but we also have to recognize this moment we’re in. We have to recognize people’s fears and anxieties. “Through robust new investments and ongoing coordination with local agencies, this plan will bolster our prevention, deterrence and enforcement efforts to aggressively curb crime, hold bad actors to account and protect Californians from the devastating gun violence epidemic.”
Newsom on Homelessness:
“It’s unconscionable what’s happening on the streets and sidewalks, that’s why we’re requiring accountability plans. We’re not going to hand out any money any longer if local governments can’t produce real results. When I got here there was no homeless strategy. No plan. No resources of any merit. Today there’s $15.3 billion dollars, there’s real strategy and there’s accountability for the first time.”
When Kounalakis was elected Lt. Governor in 2018, she became the first woman to bestow the position. She has made it clear that she has aspirations to one day be governor of California and has stated that Lieutenant Governor has been one of the more direct paths to do so, as has been the case for two of the past four elected governors. Kounalakis received nearly 3.6 million votes during the primary election, good for a 52.7% mark. In her time in office, Kounalakis said her primary focus was on public higher education, environmental protection and international engagement in collaboration with the governor.
Jacobs came behind Kounalakis in the primary election, receiving 1.3 million votes, good for 19.9%. Jacobs is a former Lancaster City Councilmember and became the first Black woman to hold the position. She has received an endorsement from the California Republican Party, but has still agreed with multiple actions made by Governor Newsom, including his decision to leave water and drought measures up to local government and Newsom’s CARE Court law, which provided funding for homeless individuals who may be suffering from psychosis or schizophrenia disorders.
Bonta was never elected to the attorney general position, instead being appointed by Gov. Gavin Newsom in 2021 after then- Attorney General Xavier Becerra was appointed secretary of health and human services. With that said, this would be his first shot at winning the election for his current position. During the primary election, Bonta received more than 3.7 million votes, good for 54.3% of the vote, while his opponent Hochman received 1.2 million votes, good for 18.2%.
In his short stint as attorney general, Bonta has focused on ensuring sentences for gun traffickers and sex traffickers, as well as multiple high-profile settlements with pharmaceutical companies for wrongful conduct. Bonta has also expressed prioritizing the opioid crisis, already creating a task force and securing billions of dollars in settlements against manufacturers and distributors.
“As your Attorney General, I and my team are confronting our fentanyl crisis head on to protect California families,” Bonta said.
Hochman is an attorney, who formerly worked in the Criminal Division as an Assistant U.S. Attorney. He has stated that his primary focuses would revolve around getting fentanyl off the streets of California, “prioritize compassionate solutions” for homelessness and prosecute human traffickers statewide.
Ma, a certified public accountant (CPA), has served as state treasurer since 2018 and received 58% of the vote in the primaries. Like other officials in this year’s election, Ma has expressed interest in running for governor in the future. Ma has stated that if re-elected, her focus would revolve around funding for healthcare, housing, jobs and education at all levels.
“California’s economic recovery requires a proven problem solver with a track record of getting things done,” Ma has said about her run for re-election. “I’m running for re-election as Treasurer to fight for people all across California by investing in the healthcare, housing and schools we need.”
Guerrero is also a CPA and former Mayor of the city of Cudahy. He has stated in his campaign that he would advocate for policies that would lower taxes and reduce government power.
“California’s financial crisis is the consequence of severe mismanagement and poor leadership by reckless politicians,” Guerrero has stated. “They do not care about California’s horrible credit rating, unfunded pension liabilities in excess of $1 trillion, record-high interest payments, and fake budget ‘surpluses.’”
Lara has served as state insurance commissioner since 2019 and became the first openly gay California elected official. He has stated that his priorities include creating a competitive insurance marketplace, saving insurers on premiums. As commissioner , Lara tackled the COVID-19 pandemic by directing insurance companies to provide $1.75 billion in relief for businesses, due to reduced risk of loss. Lara also spearheaded the move for insurance companies to provide more telehealth options.
“As your Insurance Commissioner, I am bringing years of on-the-job experience to solve some of California’s most pressing problems, from helping wildfire survivors to holding insurers accountable,” Lara said in his California voter guide statement. “And as reproductive rights are under attack nationally and in other states, I am more committed than ever to fighting for equality in health care choices here in California.”
Howell is a cybersecurity equipment manufacturer and says he is “not another politician.” If elected as insurance commissioner, Howell has stated he intends to create affordable insurance rates for Californians with a focus on affordable housing, wildfires and insurance rights.
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