NewsElection 2022


California's primary election is underway, here are key races to follow

Posted at 8:15 AM, Jun 07, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-07 11:15:01-04

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KERO) — Tuesday’s primary election will set the stage for November’s runoff where a handful of U.S. House seats will help determine party power in Congress.

Here in California the Democratic party typically dominate politics, but in this election there’s a few key races where republicans hold the position of power.

Representative David Valadao representing the newly drawn 22nd District. His former district used to include San Joaquin and Lemore counties, as well as parts of Fresno. Now he’s overseeing parts of Tulare, Kings and Kern County. Rival Republicans Chris Mathys of Sanger and Adam Medeiros from Hanford looking to unseat Valadao but if he holds out in this primary, all eyes will be on him and Democratic Assemblyman Rudy Salas, a five-term incumbent from the 32nd District.

Now four newcomers hope to unseat eight-term incumbent Representative Kevin McCarthy in the race for Congressional District 20.

Two republicans and two democrats entering the race, however the chance of this seat switching party lines is unlikely given the change of district lines, with Republicans in District 20 leading democratic voters by 20 points with 47 percent of the voter registration as of May 23.

If McCarthy maintains his seat he could become the next speaker if the GOP flips enough seats, something analysts say isn’t so far out of reach given new district lines and recent trends.

Finally Republican Senator Shannon Grove moving to State Senate District 12. She’s facing off against Democratic challenger Susanne Gundy.

This race trending closer in favor of Grove, with Republicans leading Democrats by 17 points with 45 percent of the registration as of May 23. The new District 12 includes parts of Bakersfield, as well as the Kern River Valley, Ridgecrest, Taft, and Tehachapi.

State Senate District 16 previously included Fresno, Kern, Kings, and Tulare counties. Now hooking around the east side of Bakersfield, the new district extends including northeastern parts of Kern upwards to parts of Tulare and Hanford.

Nearly 60 percent of voters are Latino with Democrats dominating voter registration by 13 points with 41 percent of registered voters as of May 23.

In 2018 Democrat Melissa Hurtado was elected to what was previously District 14. She now faces democratic challengers Delano Mayor Bryan Osorio and former Assemblymember Nicole Parra. On the Republican side she’s facing David Shephard, a Valley farmer, and Bakersfield’s Gregory Tatum.

State Assembly District 35 now representing only Kern County and this race will see two Kern County natives face off for the seat. Kern County Supervisor Leticia Perez looking to the democratic vote, hoping to gain the favor of the district formerly represented by Rudy Salas. Perez will face challenger Jasmeet Bains, a Bakersfield doctor running also as a Democrat.

Even with changes made to district lines this year, Democrats still home a majority of voter registration for District 35 with a 24 point lead over republican registered voters.