Primary election: San Francisco voters recall District Attorney Chesa Boudin

Boudin was elected in 2019 at a very different time in American politics, as concerns about police accountability grew. Calls for reform of the criminal justice system reached a peak after the 2020 killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police.

But in the years since, Boudin’s progressive policies have become a central point of contention. San Francisco residents have been shocked by the rise in violent crime and high-profile hate crimes and angered by the rise in burglaries and auto thefts across the city.

Boudin’s recall follows voters’ decision to oust three San Francisco school board members earlier this year over anger that they were delving into renaming up to 44 schools when many parents were more concerned about how long it had taken to fully reopen them during the pandemic.

On the same night that Boudin was recalled, voters in the predominantly Democratic city of Los Angeles also seemed to register concerns about Democrats’ handling of rising crime and homelessness in the race to replace acting mayor Eric Garcetti.

Six-year-old US Representative Karen Bass was once considered the frontrunner in this competition, but she faced an unexpectedly strong challenge from billionaire shopping mall magnate Rick Caruso, a former Republican.

Caruso has spent more than $40 million on the race and argues city leaders have failed to protect voters and protect their quality of life. Tents have spread across Los Angeles, taking over parks, sidewalks and public spaces as the city struggled to accommodate some 41,000 people in need of shelter.

While Bass says she would return the Los Angeles Police Department to its authorized force of 9,700 officers — in part by hiring more civilians to free up 250 officers to return to street patrol — Caruso has promised to hire an additional 1,500 officers and hire about 500 Sanitary workers to clean the streets.

For months, the crosswinds Democrats face nationally have been evident in races across California, where Democrats currently hold all state offices and dominate the congressional delegation. The new map, drawn last year by the state’s impartial Redistribution Commission, showed up to 10 competitive home races in California where Democrats were optimistic about the potential for pickups.
But Golden State voters are grappling with the highest gas prices in the nation and unsettled by a spike in crime and a homelessness crisis. All of these issues have surfaced in the tight races in the state and have emboldened Republicans, who are pushing the notion that things are getting out of hand.
Tuesday’s low turnout in California, where nearly 22 million ballots were mailed to every eligible voter, was another sign that Democrats have failed to craft an effective message on issues like crime and inflation as they try to woo their constituents Motivating in these states will be key to their hopes of retaining control of Congress. Despite a series of hard-fought house races – in which the top two voters regardless of party will advance to the general election – only about 18% of California ballots have been returned as of Tuesday, despite being mailed to voters weeks ago. according to election tracking data from California-based Political Data Intelligence.
8 things to watch in Tuesday's primary
Voters also cast ballots in primary elections in Iowa, Mississippi, Montana, New Mexico, New Jersey and South Dakota on Tuesday, offering a glimpse of voters’ intent to blame the party in power for their dissatisfaction with the state of the economy and to blame the economy country.
Several California Republican incumbents have faced their own challenges as the various factions of the GOP continue to vie for supremacy. US Rep. David Valadao, one of 10 GOP members who supported Trump’s impeachment in 2021, faced a challenge in his pro-Democratic seat in the Central Valley — the new 22nd congressional district — to his right. Former Fresno City Councilman Chris Mathys said he decided to run because of Valadao’s impeachment vote, but Trump did not enter the race.

GOP Rep. Young Kim is also facing stiff competition from her right flank in Orange County’s newly drawn 40th Precinct from Marine veteran Greg Raths, another Trump loyalist.

On the other hand, Democrats are hoping to use GOP Rep. Mike Garcia’s ties to Trump in California’s 27th district against him after the reallocation made his seat in northern Los Angeles County more Democratic. (Garcia voted against confirming the results of the 2020 presidential elections in Arizona and Pennsylvania.) Former state assemblyman Christy Smith, a Democrat, will advance with Garcia to a district runoff, CNN predicted.

Iowa Democrats caused an uproar Tuesday night by turning down a former star in the party, former Rep. Abby Finkenauer, in their bid to run against veteran GOP Sen. Chuck Grassley in November.

After Finkenauer’s recent blunder — which saw her nearly fail to qualify for the vote when a judge determined she had failed to meet signature requirements — as well as her loss to Republican Rep. Ashley Hinson two years ago, Hawkeye state Democrats left in another direction. They elected the retired Marine Adm. Mike Franken to run against Grassley, the longest-serving Republican in the US Senate, who will win his party’s primary as he seeks an eighth term, CNN predicted.

Finkenauer was serving one term in Congress after winning a constituency in 2018 that former President Donald Trump held two years earlier. At the time, at 29, she was the second youngest woman ever elected to Congress.

There have also been several high profile New Jersey convention races. In the state’s 7th Circuit, a battleground made more Republican by redistribution, CNN predicted that Democratic Rep. Tom Malinowski and Republican Tom Kean Jr., the former minority leader in the state Senate and son of the former New Jersey governor, Tom Kean will be competing in the general election.

Here are the top house codes to watch outside of CaliforniaHere are the top house codes to watch outside of California

In northern New Jersey’s 8th District, Democrat Rob Menendez Jr., son of New Jersey Sen. Bob Menendez, will win the Democratic primary, CNN projects, as he runs for the seat of retired Democratic Rep. Albio Sires.

GOP Rep. Chris Smith, who voted in favor of the bipartisan infrastructure bill, fended off a number of key challengers in central New Jersey’s 4th Circuit, including Mike Crispi, a talk show host endorsed by Trump allies like Roger Stone and Rudy Giuliani.

In Iowa, one of the most competitive races is taking place in the 3rd District, where Rep. Cindy Axne, the only Democrat on the congressional delegation, is hoping to keep her seat in a district Trump would have won by less than half a point. CNN predicted that Sen. Zach Nunn, an Air Force veteran, will win the Republican primary in Des Moines District.

The other two competitive home races in Iowa are set. GOP Rep. Mariannette Miller-Meeks meets Democratic Rep. Christina Bohannan in the new 1st District. In the 2nd Circuit, Hinson meets Democratic state Senator Liz Mathis, who is also a former local television news anchor.

In Montana, Trump is backing his former Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke – despite his controversial history – as the candidate attempts to return to Congress. The state won a second seat in Congress following the results of the 2020 census. He faces four other candidates in Tuesday’s GOP primary, including former state senator Al Olszewski and Pastor Mary Todd, as questions swirl about Zinke’s residency. Politico recently reported that Zinke’s wife listed a house in Santa Barbara as her primary residence on tax filings, but Zinke claims he lives in Whitefish, Montana.
In South Dakota, Rep. Dusty Johnson will win the GOP primary for the state’s only congressional seat, CNN predicted. He faced a major challenge after voting to confirm the results of the 2020 presidential election. CNN also predicted that South Dakota GOP Gov. Kristi Noem, a potential 2024 nominee, will defeat her main challenger, Rep. Steven Haugaard, who accused her of not being conservative enough and spending too much time as governor spend to pursue their ambitions for higher office.

This story has been updated with additional developments.

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