Primary election results: a voice for peace in the 2012 elections
Last night was the first big primary night in our work to elect pro-peace candidates in November. There were a lot of tight races, and California’s new top-two primary system brought some interesting outcomes around the state. As with all elections, there was some excitement and some disappointment, but we still have lots of work to do in 2012 and great opportunities to build the pro-peace voice in Congress.
Here’s the rundown on our candidates who had primaries last night:
- Norman Solomon (CA-2) They are still counting mail ballots in this close race. As of now, Norman is behind Republican Dan Roberts for the second place spot by only 1,379 votes. Democrat Jared Huffman came out on top, and he will face whichever candidate snags the second place spot in November in this very Democratic-leaning district.
- John Garamendi (CA-3) Rep. Garamendi came out on top in the primary in this new district, with 53% of the vote. He will face Republican Kim Vann in the general election. Other Republicans split the remaining votes in the district, so it will be important for us to shore up support for Rep. Garamendi for November so we can have his continued leadership on foreign policy issues in Congress next year.
- Pete Stark (CA-15) Rep. Stark also came out on top in his primary with 42% of the vote. Thanks to the new top-two system, he will face another Democrat, Eric Swalwell, in the November election. The primary eliminated one other candidate who had no party affiliation. Rep. Stark has always been an outspoken champion on our issues, and he’ll need our support to keep his seat in November.
- John Hernandez (CA-21) Republican David Valadao won the top spot in this primary, but our endorsed candidate John Hernandez won a close contest against another Democrat to advance to the general election. This will be a tough fight in a Republican-leaning district, so we’ll have to work to consolidate the peace vote in the Central Valley to help John win in November.
- Mark Takano (CA-41) Mark Takano won a spot in the general election in this new Inland Empire district, winning 36% of the vote. He will face Republican John Tavaglione in November. This district leans Democrat, but we can’t take anything for granted given Tavaglione’s showing in the primary. This is a great opportunity to get a fresh face in DC with a foundation in pro-peace values.
- Janice Hahn (CA-44) This race was one of the California races that pitted two incumbents against each other after redistricting shuffled everyone around. Our endorsed candidate Rep. Hahn took 60% of the vote to Rep. Laura Richardson’s 40%. She is well positioned to keep her spot in Congress in November, and we will keep pitching in to make sure that happens.
- Lori Saldaña (CA-52) Right now, Lori is virtually tied with Democrat Scott Peters in the race to go up against Republican Rep. Brian Bilbray. It could be weeks before the absentee and provisional ballots are counted and a winner is declared.
- Franke Wilmer (MT-AL) Montana still has a traditional Democratic primary sytem. Unfortunately, Franke lost to Kim Gillan, who took 30% of the vote. Hopefully this won’t be the last we hear of Franke Wilmer, as her international experience and personal background make her a uniquely qualified candidate.
We have already made great strides in giving peace voters a voice in the 2012 elections. You have made your dollars talk by donating $10,000 to candidates who stand for a smarter, saner foreign policy. Peace Action West staffers have already called hundreds of voters. We’ve had people help out in campaign offices from San Diego to Petaluma to Bozeman, MT. Our candidates know that Peace Action West supporters have played a key role in their victories, and we look forward to keeping this momentum going to big wins in November.