California governor race: Gavin Newsom cruises to victory, faces big challenges
From the Chronicle's JOE GAROFOLI: "Gavin Newsom, a former San Francisco mayor who has spent the past eight years waiting in the wings of Sacramento as lieutenant governor, seized a role on the national stage Tuesday when the Democrat cruised to election as California’s next governor."
"Having defeated Republican businessman John Cox, Newsom will take over a state that would have the world’s fifth-largest economy if it were a country. And increasingly, in President Trump’s America, California has been behaving as if it were a country, challenging the administration’s authority on everything from immigration policy to greenhouse gas regulation and control of public lands."
"Newsom, 51, will now have four years to show that he is more than a leader of the anti-Trump resistance. He must solve problems that have cast California in an unflattering light nationally — a growing poverty rate even amid widespread wealth, homelessness that seems intractably rooted in cities and has spread to rural areas, and housing costs that threaten to turn a generation of young people into lifelong renters or drive them from the state entirely."
READ MORE related to Election Day: Here's what happened in California's election while you were sleeping -- Sacramento Bee's ADAM ASHTON; Trump critic Gavin Newsom elected California governor -- AP's JONATHAN COOPER; Gavin Newsom is elected governor, Feinstein wins 5th term -- CALmatters' DAN MORAIN; Gavin Newsom to become California’s next governor -- Sacramento Bee's ANGELA HART/ALEXEI KOSEFF; Newsom wins, Feinstein stays: Here are the latest election resuts in state, local races -- Sacramento Bee's DON SWEENEY/NOEL HARRIS
Tax credits to labor laws. What everyone wants from California's new governor
Sacramento Bee's ALEXEI KOSEFF: "When Gov. Jerry Brown took office eight years ago, he faced crippling budget deficits that required brutal cuts to public services."
"Democrat Gavin Newsom, who won election Tuesday night, has a different kind of financial challenge as he prepares to assume the governorship in January: state coffers that are overflowing on the strength of a growing economy."
"When you’re in that situation, the pressures come to spend money,” said Allan Zaremberg, president and chief executive officer of the California Chamber of Commerce."
Democratic win in House means trouble for Trump agenda
McClatchy DC's EMILY CADEI: "It may not be the “blue tsunami” Democratic activists had been seeking, but the party’s victories in House races across the country Tuesday night will be enough to block President Donald Trump’s agenda for the next two years — and likely sweep San Francisco Democrat Nancy Pelosi back into the speaker’s office."
"Democrats needed to win 23 seats to retake a majority in the House. As of midnight on the East Coast, Democratic candidates had flipped 26 Republican-held seats in Congress, and are expected to add to that number as vote counts on the West Coast are completed."
"Fueled by anti-Trump energy, Democrats won big in suburban areas across the country — from Charlotte, N.C., to Kansas City and Denver, Colo.rado. That gives the party a solid grasp on the House chamber, where the rules give the majority party significant power to control the agenda."
Pre-election polling: Surprises lurk in those House seats
Capitol Weekly's JOHN HOWARD: "A number of California’s Republican-held House seats face fierce challenges from Democrats, and the tally of votes in these tight races may not be completed for days, even weeks, following the election."
"That’s the message in Capitol Weekly’s survey of more than 20,000 mail-in voters across California who cast their ballots prior to election day."
"The email questions were distributed via Survey Monkey and covered congressional and legislative contests. The survey’s crosstabs with total vote, plus breakdowns by gender, party, age and ethnicity can be see here"
How Californians voted on the 11 ballot propositions
Sacramento Bee's NOEL HARRIS: "California voters had to make choices on many races Tuesday. On every ballot in the state were 11 propositions, including a repeal of the gas tax, ending daylight saving time and rent control on residential properties."
"As of 10:25 p.m., six of the measures were headed toward approval, with 26 percent of precincts reporting."
"Here’s a look at the propositions. All summary information is from the California Secretary of State Voter Guide."
Midterm results show health is important to voters but no magic bullet
California Healthline's JULIE ROVNER: "Health care proved important but apparently not pivotal in the 2018 midterm elections on Tuesday as voters gave Democrats control of the U.S. House, left Republicans in charge in the Senate and appeared to order an expansion of Medicaid in at least three states long controlled by Republicans."
"In taking over the House, Democrats are unlikely to be able to advance many initiatives when it comes to health policy, given the GOP’s control of the Senate and White House. But they will be able to deliver an effective veto to Republican efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act, convert the Medicaid health care system for low-income people into a block grant program and make major changes to Medicare."
"One likely development is an expansion of Medicaid in several of the 18 states that had so far not offered coverage made available by the Affordable Care Act. Voters in Idaho and Nebraska easily approved ballot measures calling for expansion. A similar measure was leading in Utah based on incomplete returns."
READ MORE related to Health Care: California dreamin'? With Newsom's win, single-payer unlikely to follow anytime soon -- California Healthline's SAMANTHA YOUNG
California voters embrace year-round DST
The Chronicle's SARAH RAVANI: "Californians warmed to the idea of year-round daylight-saving time, approving an initiative that would urge state lawmakers to junk the annual springing forward and falling back."
"With 43 percent of precincts reporting Tuesday night, Proposition 7 was leading 61 percent to 39 percent."
"Takeaway: It’s a long way from here to year-round daylight-saving time. First, the Legislature would have to approve it by a two-thirds vote. Then Congress would have to allow California to deviate from standard time when most of the rest of the nation shifts to it."
Nunes comfortably beats Janz in high-profile congressional race
Fresno Bee's RORY APPLETON: "Rep. Devin Nunes holds a comfortable lead over Democratic challenger Andrew Janz in the Valley’s premier race in the 2018 general election."
"Early results show Nunes up 43,264 votes to Janz’s 32,032 (58 percent to 42 percent) with 13 percent of precincts reporting. As of 10:30 p.m., multiple news outlets began calling the race for Nunes."
Sacramento's Measure U headed toward passage, but where sales tax money will go remains uncertain
Sacramento Bee's THERESA CLIFT: "Early results from Tuesday’s election showed Sacramento residents were likely to bump the city’s sales tax rate to 8.75 percent to fund core services including fire and police, and create new revenue to potentially fund affordable housing, youth and neighborhood equity projects. "
"As of 10:15 p.m., the city’s increased sales tax proposal, Measure U, was headed toward passage 54.1 percent to 45.9 percent, though the city will likely not have a final vote count for days."
"We’ll do it right. We’ll do it in a thorough way and we’ll do it in a way that will make people say ‘Wow, they really meant what they said,’” Mayor Darrell Steinberg told a crowd at his election party."
CA school superintendent race: Tuck leads Thurmond
The Chronicle's JILL TUCKER: "Billionaire-backed political newcomer Marshall Tuck held a tight lead early Wednesday in the hotly contested race to be California’s superintendent of schools."
"Tuck had 50.6 percent of the vote to Tony Thurmond’s 49.4 percent, with 93 percent of precincts reporting the results."
"Takeaway: In past elections, the endorsement from the California Teachers Association has propelled candidates to victory. Thurmond had the union’s backing this year, but the ostensibly nonpartisan race turned into a costly ideological struggle between labor and advocates of education reform. Both candidates are Democrats. The superintendent’s power lies in persuading lawmakers and the Board of Education to enact changes."
READ MORE related to Education: With more than two-thirds of votes in, Tuck leads Thurmond in race for California schools chief -- EdSource's JOHN FENSTERWALD/NICO SAVIDGE/MIKHAIL ZINSHTEYN
PG&E may shut off power for 69,000 in NorCal due to fire risk
Sacramento Bee's ALEXANDRA YOON-HENDRICKS: "Pacific Gas and Electric may soon shut off power starting Thursday morning for up to 69,000 customers in Northern California because of “expected extreme fire danger conditions,” according to a Tuesday press release."
"The National Weather Service issued a Red Flag Warning on Tuesday for the Sacramento Valley and parts of the Bay Area, beginning Wednesday night and continuing through the end of the week."
"The forecast calls for high winds. The winds and and dry vegetation creates a high potential for wildfires, and the power company doesn’t want to spark any flareups, said spokeswoman Kristi Jourdan. Cal Fire authorities have repeatedly pointed to PG&E’s power lines and failed power poles as causes for at least 16 wildfires last October that killed a total of 44 people."
The Yountville Vet Center killer was heavily armed and separated his victims
The Chronicle's LIZZIE JOHNSON: "The former Army infantryman who killed three staff members and himself at a rehabilitation center for war veterans in Yountville entered through the building’s back loading dock carrying a shotgun and a semiautomatic rifle and wearing safety glasses and ear protection, the CHP said Tuesday."
"In a brief synopsis of its investigative report, the state agency suggested Albert Wong acted quickly and deliberately when he attacked Pathway Home on the campus of the Veterans Home of California-Yountville just after 10 a.m. on March 9. Wong had been a client at the center."
"On the second floor of Madison Hall, Wong “entered a room where a small gathering of Pathway Home staff was taking place,” the CHP said. “Wong ordered the veterans to exit the room, and one of the staff members in the room dialed 911 and reported an active shooter incident.”