The Agenda

June 5 Primaries: 17 LGBTQ Candidates on the Ballot

Key primary races were held in California, Alabama, Iowa, and New Jersey. Major races to watch out for are Mark Leno running for San Francisco Mayor, Katie Hill running for Congress outside of LA, and Ricardo Lara running for CA Insurance Commissioner. Additional details and results for our races are below.

Spotlight Candidate: Mark Leno for Mayor of San Francisco

lenoMark Leno has a long track record of putting real people before special interests to improve lives in the communities he serves. Time and time again, he’s taken on the powerful and won – fighting for better schools and access to higher education, foster youth, a cleaner and sustainable environment, affordable housing, universal single – payer healthcare, improved transportation and renewable energy, safer streets, and equal rights for all Californians.

A longtime civil rights champion, Leno has spent decades authoring historic legislation to protect and fight for equality. His landmark FAIR Education Act ensured that the contributions of LGBTQ Americans and those with disabilities are included in public school curricula. In 2003, Governor Davis signed into law Leno’s historic legislation to protect transgender Californians from discrimination in housing, employment, and public accommodations. In 2016, Leno made history when Governor Brown signed his $15 minimum wage bill into law, raising California’s nation-leading minimum wage and giving an estimated 5.6 million workers a raise. Leno also authored groundbreaking legislation that prohibits state agencies from partnering with businesses that discriminate against transgender employees in their benefit plans.

Election Summary & Results 

Mark Leno faces San Francisco Supervisors London Breed and Jane Kim in the special election tonight, concurrent with California’s unified statewide primary. Because San Francisco uses ranked-choice voting like Minneapolis, votes may need to be counted in several rounds if no candidate secures a clear majority on the first count. Complete results may not be available until Wednesday evening (7 PM ET). 

Results: Sen. Leno is currently in the lead with 50.42%, but results are not official until mail-in ballots are counted.

Game Changer Candidate: Katie Hill for U.S. House, CA-25

Katie HillKatie is the Executive Director of PATH, a $50M organization that works to end homelessness across California and battle the many systemic issues that lead to homelessness. She is also a lifelong resident of the 25th District.

Election Summary & Results

Katie Hill currently faces Republican incumbent Steve Knight and Democrats Bryan Caforio & Jess Phoenix in the top-two primary. T
wo-term incumbent Steve Knight was one of the most vulnerable Republican incumbents in 2016 and appears to be one of the most vulnerable in 2018. Democrat Bryan Caforio was the 2016 Democratic nominee for this seat. He moved to the district in 2016 to run for office. His loss by 6.2 points in 2016 (nearly the same as Hillary’s margin of victory in this district) is blamed by his opponents on his image as a carpetbagger, and by his supporters on the fact that his defeated 2016 primary opponent endorsed Knight.

Results: Kate Hill is ahead of Bryan Caforio by 1,500 votes with thousands of mail-in ballots to be counted. Check back soon.

Ricardo Lara for California Insurance Commissioner

laraA leading advocate for consumers and working families, Ricardo Lara is endorsed by the California Democratic Party, United States Senator Kamala Harris, California Nurses Association and Planned Parenthood Action Fund for California Insurance Commissioner. Ricardo Lara’s parents – a seamstress and a factory worker – came to this country for a better life. Now their son, Ricardo is running for Insurance Commissioner to defend a better life for all Californians. Ricardo wrote California’s universal healthcare legislation and won healthcare for 218,000 children. He helped us win equal pay for women, raise California’s minimum wage, and lower the price of prescription drugs. Ricardo received the first Climate and Clean Air award from the United Nations.

Now he is working to protect California’s coastline from the Trump Administration’s plan for more offshore drilling. In 2016, Ricardo led California’s voters to reform “English-only” education so that all children learn English while having opportunities to learn a second language. Endorsed by the California Teachers Association, California’s Professional Firefighters and Equality California, Ricardo Lara would be the first openly gay statewide elected official in California’s history. As Insurance Commissioner, Ricardo Lara will work to increase access to affordable healthcare; make a legitimate claim. Ricardo Lara will be the Insurance Commissioner every Californian needs and deserves.

Election Summary & Results 

Election Summary Ricardo Lara currently faces Democrat Asif Mahmood and independent Steve Poizner in the top-two primary. Peace and Freedom Party candidate Nathalie Hrizi is also running. Steve Poizner served as Insurance Commissioner from 2007-2011, running as a Republican at the time.

Results: Sen. Lara won 40.6% (1,481,088) of the votes, taking a narrow 2nd place after Silicon Valley millionaire Steve Poizner’s 41.4% (1,503,973). Sen. Lara will be the Democratic nominee.

Neil Rafferty for Alabama House of Representatives, District 54

raffertyNeil Rafferty is running for Alabama State House District 54. A native of Birmingham, Neil graduated from Birmingham’s John Carroll Catholic High School in 2003. His life of service for country and community began with his enlistment into the United States Marine Corps (USMC) as an infantry assaultman. Upon completion of his term of service in the USMC, he used his GI Bill benefits to earn a B.A. in political science and English from the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB).

After graduating, Neil directed his effort to community through the practice of public health. Starting off as a volunteer at UAB’s 1917 Clinic, Neil eventually became the youth and community outreach coordinator at Birmingham AIDS Outreach (BAO). Neil currently serves as the Program Director for the Birmingham Comprehensive High Impact Prevention Project (B-CHIP), a CDC-funded initiative which seeks to address gaps in the care continuum through intensive collaboration with community members, partner nonprofits, state and county health departments, and health care providers to implement community-coordinated, evidence-based public health strategies.

Neil currently lives in Birmingham’s Crestwood North neighborhood with Michael Rudulph, his partner of fourteen years, their dog Khaleesi and two cats Ulysses and Sergeant.

Election Summary & Results 

Neil Rafferty currently faces Jerome Dees and Jacqueline Gray Miller in the Democratic primary. No Republican or independent candidates have filed to run in the general election, but the race will advance to a runoff in July if no candidate secures 50% of the vote tonight. 

Results: Neil is advancing to a runoff. According to Towleroad: “Openly gay former Marine Neil Rafferty appears headed for a runoff in the race for the District 54 seat to replace Patricia Todd in the Alabama State Legislature. Candidates need more than 50 percent of the vote to avoid a runoff. Rafferty won 48 percent or 2,867 votes with 28 out of 29 precincts reporting. Patricia Todd was the first openly gay lawmaker in Alabama and resigned from the legislature in January.

Linda Deos for Davis City Council

deosAfter practicing employment and consumer law for 22 years, Linda is bringing her skills and experience to a new level of public service. She is running for Davis City Council. Linda is an active member of the Yolo County Democratic Party, serves on the Yolo County Health Council, and the Davis Personnel Board. She is Treasurer of the Yolo County Progressives and a founding member of the Berniecrat-Labor Alliance.

Election Summary & Results 

The top-two vote-getters tonight will win seats on the city council. Linda faces a crowded field that includes Glorida Partida, Mary Jo Bryan, Ezra Beeman, Larry Guenther, Eric Gudz, Mark West, Dan Carson, and Luis Rios. Eric Gudz has also been endorsed by Victory Fund. Results: Linda Deos did not win her race for Davis City Council. 

Eric Gudz for Davis City Council

Eric Gudz has dedicated their life to public service, as an Eagle Scout, an Army Officer in the 101st Airborne Division, a Commissioner for the Davis Bicycling, Transportation and Street Safety Commission, and as Chair of the Board of Directors for the international nonprofit Students for Sensible Drug Policy. I earned a Master of Science in Transportation, Technology, and Policy from the University of California – Davis and a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science from the University of Michigan – Ann Arbor. After serving on the front lines in Afghanistan, Eric returned home to serve their fellow wounded sisters and brothers and saw firsthand the effects of the opioid epidemic on vulnerable populations. They came to believe that their efforts were best spent away from foreign wars, and they refocused their energy on fighting for our communities at home with new a mission to craft humane policy that champions environmentally conscious, economically responsible, and socially inclusive citizens.

Election Summary & Results 

The top-two vote-getters tonight will win seats on the city council. Linda faces a crowded field that includes Glorida Partida, Mary Jo Bryan, Ezra Beeman, Larry Guenther, Linda Deos, Mark West, Dan Carson, and Luis Rios. Linda Deos has also been endorsed by Victory Fund. Results: Eric Gudz did not win her race for Davis City Council

Jimmy Dutra for Santa Cruz County Supervisor, District 4

Jimmy Dutra was born and raised in Watsonville, California (city population just shy of 60,000). He attended local schools and was active throughout the community at an early age. Jimmy earned his bachelors degree in Political Science from Santa Clara University and will graduate with his Master in Executive Leadership with honors in May 2018 from the University of Southern California’sSol Price School of Public Policy. While in college he interned in Washington D.C. for the Clinton Administration and continued in politics on a gubernatorial and senate campaign after graduation.

After many years in Los Angeles working in the entertainment and real estate industries, Jimmy moved back home to Watsonville in 2010. He joined his family’s agricultural business and eventually opened up a local pumpkin patch, Jimmy’s Pumpkins. In 2014 Jimmy was elected to the Watsonville City Council for a 4-year term after defeating an incumbent. He’s the first openly elected gay city council member for the city of Watsonville and is currently the only gay council member in the county. Some of the organizations that Jimmy is currently affiliated with include, Chairman of Board for Santa Cruz Metro, President of the Board for the Pajaro Valley Shelter Services, Board member on the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary and Board member for the League of California Cities LGBTQ Caucus. Jimmy will become the first openly gay Santa Cruz County Supervisor when elected in June 2018.

Election Summary & Results 

Jimmy Dutra currently faces incumbent Greg Caput and fellow challengers Nancy Bilicich, Felipe Hernandez, and Leticia Mendoza in the top-two primary. Results: Jimmy took 2nd place with 26% of the vote and is advancing to the general.

 Shay Franco-Clausen for San Jose City Council, District 9

Shay Franco-Clausen is the Director of Development and Government Relations at Silicon Valley FACES, a nonprofit founded in 1965 that organizes against bias, bigotry, bullying, and violence. She is also the Vice Chair of the Santa Clara Commission on the Status of Women. In 2016/2017, Shay helped organize and was selected as the Keynote Speaker for the Women’s March San Jose. She is also a Victory Empowerment Fellow.

Election Summary & Results 

Shay is running for this open seat against 5 opponents, Pam Foley, Kalen Gallagher, Sabuhi Siddique, and Rosie Zepeda, and Scott Nelson. If no candidate receives at least 50% of the vote, the top 2 vote-getters will go to a runoff election in November. 

Results: With 54/55 of precincts reporting, Franco-Clausen is in third place with 16.77% and will not advance to the general.

Dave Myers for San Diego County Sheriff

Dave currently serves as a Commander within the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department.  He’s worked in law enforcement for 32 years and has worked in almost every part of the Sheriff’s Department.  He has also published and coauthored scholarly works on various law enforcement topics, one of which was awarded the Association of Chiefs of Police’s Gold Award for law enforcement research.

Election Summary & Results 

Dave is running against Republican incumbent William “Bill” Gore who is seeking his third term in office. Since only 2 people are running, this race will be decided in today’s primary election.
Results: Commander Myers took 43% of the vote and was unable to unseat Bill Gore.

Jeffrey Prang for Los Angeles County Assessor 

 Since his election as Los Angeles County Assessor in 2014, Jeffrey Prang has restored public trust in the Office of the Assessor and transformed it into the premier local assessment agency in California. He has increased public access to information, improved quality of service, and undertaken a technological renovation project that will set the standard for technological improvements in Los Angeles in County government and assessors throughout California. Prior to being elected Assessor, Jeffrey Prang served nearly 18 years as a West Hollywood City Councilmember, including four terms as Mayor, where he fought consistently for equality and innovation in government services.

Election Summary & Results 

Jeffrey is running for reelection against three appraisers in the Office of the Assessor, John Loew, Sandy Sun, and Krish Kundar. If Jeffrey receives at least 50% of the vote, he will avoid going to a run-off election in November. Results: Prang was re-elected with 46.40% (352,217) of the vote.

Joaquin Rivera for Alameda County (CA) Board of Education

Joaquin Rivera was elected to the Alameda County Board of Education in 2010 and re-elected in 2014. He has served as board president, on the budget committee, and is currently the chair of the policy and legislation committee. He also serves on the JPA Board of Directors of the Chabot Space and Science Center, whose mission is to educate and inspire students on science, the Earth and the Universe. Before joining the Alameda County Board of Education, he served three terms on the Berkeley School Board. In 2016 Joaquin was President of the California County Boards of Education (CCBE), the statewide organization that represents county boards of education.

Joaquin has been a community college chemistry professor since 1990. He served as President, Vice-President and Chief negotiator of the AFT Local 1493 and as Vice-President of the California Federation of Teachers. He was also President of the Academic Senate. Joaquin holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry from the University of Puerto Rico, Mayaguez, and a Master of Science degree in Chemistry from the University of California, Berkeley. 

 Election Summary & Results 

Joaquin is running for reelection against Abdur Sikder in this race-deciding election.

Julia Fahl for Mayor of Lambertville, NJ –  win! 

Julia has worked on numerous congressional races for first-time progressive candidates across the country over the past decade.  Her most recent campaign brought her back to New Jersey electing Democrat Phil Murphy for New Jersey’s governor.  Between campaigns, Julia has worked for CeaseFire, Planned Parenthood, and served in the role of national LGBT Fundraiser for the DNC under President Obama’s second term.   

Election Summary & Results 

Julia is running against 27-year incumbent Mayor Dave DelVecchio in this race-deciding primary. Reults: The New Jersey Globe reports: “Fahl won by 145 votes, 757 to 631 – a decisive 55%-45% win in the small but prestigious town of just less than 4,000 people.  She ran a mostly positive campaign calling for new ideas and different approaches to local issues…Fahl worked as a fundraiser for Phil Murphy’s 2017 gubernatorial campaign.  Her campaign for mayor was managed by her wife, Kari Osmond, Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman’s district director and a former chief of staff to Assemblyman Reed Gusciora.”

Uncontested Elections

Felicia Stewart, Alabama House of Representatives, District 46

Kevin Beiser, San Diego Unified School Board President

Liz Bennett, Iowa House of Representatives, District 65

Jennifer Campbell, San Diego City Council

Sabrina Cervantes, California Assembly, District 60

Robert Garcia, Mayor of Long Beach, CA (General Election)

Mark Takano, U.S. House of Representatives, CA-41

Joy Silver, California State Senate, District 28  |  Won 36% of the vote and advancing to the general.