Prop. 30 Passes, Prop. 37 Falters; Democrats Win Big in California

Votes are still being tabulated this morning in some parts of the Golden State, but the results for two ballot initiatives that BayBio took official positions are clear.  Proposition 30, the Governor’s tax plan to avoid trigger cuts to education and public safety has passed comfortably, 53.9% – 46.1%; and Proposition 37, the initiative mandating the labeling of genetically-modified foods has been voted down, 46.9% – 53.1%.  Both results are favorable for the state’s biotechnology industry and mirror BayBio’s endorsements.

The other big story of the evening was an unexpected banner evening for Democrats in the state legislature.  With a handful of races still being tabulated, it appears that the Democrats are on track to gain supermajorities in both the state Assembly and Senate.  While the margin was widely expected in the state Senate, a handful of swing districts favored the Democrat on the Assembly side, including an unexpected upset victory by Fullerton Mayor Sharon Quirk-Silva, the Democrat, over incumbent Republican Assemblymember Chris Norby in Fullerton.  The margin of victory was less than one percentage point – approximately 1,000 votes.

If current vote tabulations prevail, Democrats will hold 54 seats in the Assembly and 28 in the Senate when the new class is sworn in next month.  With more than a two-thirds majority in both houses of the state legislature, Democrats along with Gov. Jerry Brown can pass tax increases, budgets, constitutional amendments, and urgency measures (which take effect immediately, instead of on January 1 of the following year) with no Republican support.  Widely unpredicted going into election day, this will fundamentally change the political dynamics of Sacramento, with the state’s Republican party having little say in any legislative matters and moderate Democrats wielding considerable influence over the shape of public policy.

Finally, Democrats are also poised to pick up as many as four seats in California’s Congressional delegation, with incumbents Brian Bilbray, Mary Bono-Mack, and Dan Lungren trailing this morning, and Mark Takano and Julia Brownley – both Democrats – ahead in seats newly created through redistricting.  If all of the results hold per this morning’s vote count, Democrats will capture 38 Congressional seats to 15 for the Republicans – a net gain of 4.

Other noteworthy results for BayBio (please note – some of these close races are subject to change, pending provisional ballot counts and any recounts):

San Francisco:

Measure E (Gross Receipts Tax) PASSES:  70.6% – 29.4%

State Propositions:

Prop. 30 (Governor’s Tax Plan) PASSES:   53.9% – 46.1%

Prop. 32 (Bars Paycheck Deduction for Political Purposes) FAILS:  43.9% – 56.1%

Prop. 37 (Requires Labeling of GMO Foods) FAILS: 46.9% – 53.1%

Prop. 38 (Competing Tax Measure by Molly Munger) FAILS: 27.7% – 72.3%

Prop. 39 (Mandatory Single Sales Factor to Fund Green Tech) PASSES: 60.1% – 39.9%

Full Proposition Results:

California Assembly:

District 10 (Marin/Sonoma):  Marc Levine beats incumbent Michael Allen, 50.6% – 49.4%

District 18 (Alameda):  Rob Bonta beats Abel Guillen, 50.8% – 49.2%

District 19 (San Francisco):  Phil Ting beats Michael Breyer, 58% – 42%

District 20 (Alameda): Bill Quirk beats Jennifer Ong, 51.3% – 48.7%

District 22 (San Mateo):  Kevin Mullin beats Mark Gilham, 70.6% – 29.4%

District 24 (San Mateo/Santa Clara): Rich Gordon beats Chenzhi Yang, 70% – 30%

District 32 (Kern):  Rudy Salas beats Pedro Rios, 50.2% – 49.8%

Full Assembly Results:

California Senate:

District 5 (San Joaquin/Stanislaus):  Bill Berryhill beats Cathleen Galgiani, 51% – 49%

District 13 (San Mateo/Santa Clara):  Jerry Hill beats Sally Lieber, 66.9% – 33.1%

District 15 (Santa Clara):  Jim Beall beats Joe Coto, 57.9% – 42.1%

Full Senate Results:

U.S. Senate:

Dianne Feinstein beats Elizabeth Emken, 61.4% – 38.6%

U.S. House of Representatives:

District 3 (Sacramento/Solano/Yolo et al.):  John Garamendi beats Kim Vann, 53.8% – 46.2%

District 7 (Sacramento): Ami Bera beats Dan Lungren, 50.1% – 49.9%

District 9 (Contra Costa/Sacramento/San Joaquin): Jerry McNerney beats Ricky Gill, 54.1% – 45.9%

District 15 (Alameda/Contra Costa):  Eric Swalwell beats Pete Stark, 53.1% – 46.9%

District 52 (San Diego): Scott Peters beats Brian Bilbray, 50.2% – 49.8%

Full Congressional Results: