California Voters Head To The Polls

Nov 4, 2014
Joe Moore / Valley Public Radio

Today isn’t a presidential election, but Californians will elect a governor, seven other state office holders and three-quarters of the state Legislature.

Democrat Jerry Brown is asking voters to give him a record fourth term as governor. He’s facing Republican Neel Kashkari, who led the federal government’s bank bailout program under Presidents Bush and Obama.

Capitol Bureau Chief Ben Adler says there are several tight races for statewide office:

Photo used under Creative Commons from Andy Patterson / Modern Relics /

The most important members of the California legislature this year might not be the two Democratic leaders - despite the two-thirds supermajorities they hold in each chamber.  And it almost certainly won't be the Republicans. 

They've been courted for key votes in recent years but now don't have the numbers to block any bills on their own.  As Ben Adler reports from Sacramento, the leverage in this legislative session may well lie with a newly-critical voting bloc: moderate Democrats.

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Now that Democrats hold a supermajority in both chambers of the California legislature, activists want them to use it to push a more progressive agenda. 

Progressives say they want lawmakers to restore cuts they say hurt the most vulnerable Californians, such as cuts to education, social services, and health care.

Joshua Pechthalt is President of the California Federation of Teachers. He says elected officials shouldn’t worry about a voter backlash similar to what happened in the 2010 elections.

Photo used under Creative Commons from Andy Patterson / Modern Relics /

This could be the year California Democrats finally reach the goal they’ve long strived for: a two-thirds supermajority in the State Senate. We took a look at that possibility in a report yesterday.

It turns out people from both parties don’t think Sacramento’s legislative landscape would change that much. And as Ben Adler reports from Sacramento, the biggest impact on next year’s atmosphere at the State Capitol will likely come from something else entirely.