There are still thousands of absentee ballots out there, but so far it look like a banner day for the trial lawyers in California. The biggest win for them came in AD 53 with Betsy Butler, their Association (CAOC) Vice President. She blew through a big field of democrats to capture the nomination for the seat being vacated by Assemblyman Ted Leiu. She is currently leading the race with 26.7% of the vote. Her nearest competitor is James Lau with 17.8%. The trial lawyers played a heavy hand in funding her race and this district. This race was expected to be more competitive than the general election will be.
Another race that is still too close to call is the SD 40 race between Mary Salas and Juan Vargas. Mary Salas saw big support from the trial lawyers and right now is holding on to a narrow lead. She has 50.6% and Juan Vargas who has 49.4% of the vote. The outcome lies in the absentee ballots, although Salas has already declared victory
. Salas was also heavily back by the trial lawyers.
As far as the statewide offices, we can expect to see trial lawyer money pour into Jerry Brown's campaign as he faces off with Meg Whitman. Another race that will have huge implications for California is the race for Attorney General. After the primary, San Francisco District Attorney Kamala Harris will face Republican Los Angeles District Attorney Steve Cooley and this race's outcome could have big ramifications on the role of the attorney general in our state. And we might be heading for an upset in the race for Insurance Commissioner. Assemblyman Mike Villines is currently trailing a virtually unknown primary candidate by the name of Brian Fitzgerald, who works at the Department of Insurance. Assemblyman Dave Jones, former chair of the Assembly Judiciary Committee, won the democratic nomination and is quite cozy with the trial lawyers.
Voters will have another chance in November to make their voices heard. I urge everyone to be an educated voter. That is the only way we can get California back to the great state it once was.