California Democrats eager to restore the slim supermajority they lost in 2014 are concerned for their prospects for 2016.
One seat that Democrats fear losing comes from the 31st Assembly District, where the resignation of moderate Democrat Henry Perea has left an opening for GOP Fresno Councilman Clint Olivier to charge through. Joaquin Arambula, the son of Perea’s predecessor, Juan Arambula, wants to reclaim the seat, but as Dan Walters of the Sacramento Bee points out, Gov. Jerry Brown will call a special primary election in April, followed by a runoff in June for the seat, leaving Arambula with two races to run; one in the special election and another in the general election.
Walters points out that the Democratic supermajority had trouble implementing their leftist agenda because of moderate Democrats who balked at the plan. He adds that other races, including former Assemblyman Raul Bocanegra’s effort to win a rematch with Assemblywoman Patty Lopez and outgoing Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins’ battle with Sen. Marty Block in San Diego, may throw a wrench into the Democrats’ plans.
As Sen. Holly Mitchell, D-Los Angeles, said in September, “It seems to me, just like ‘Orange is the New Black,’ mod is the new ‘Cool Dem.’ … I hear them say, ‘We’ll stop it in the Assembly. We’ll just shut it down there.’ There really was that confidence. I don’t know that I heard that as consistently in past years.”