Pettis Reveals His Recommendations for Candidates and Propositions

Many folks are asking who am I voting for in the June primary.  Now as regular readers, you know I am a Democrat and support Democratic values and ideals.  That also carries over to candidates. Ninety-eight percent of the candidates I support are Democrats but I do cross over when I feel the Republican has value and represents his/her district well.  Many of these candidates I have known for years and some I have contributed too or volunteered for.

The following are my choices (and recommendations) for the June primary.

Governor –

There are four main candidates as I view the race; Gavin Newsom, currently Lt. Governor, John Chiang, State Treasurer, Antonio Villaraigosa, former Mayor of Los Angeles and Delaine Easton, formerly State Supt of Public Instruction.  All qualified, all good on most issues with some variations.  All excellent on LGBT issues.

My top two choices are Newsom and Chiang.  Newsom has the energy and vision needed for California after eight years of Jerry Brown while Chiang, without question tops the field in intelligence and policy, totally understanding the intricacies of the state budget and financing.

I believe that the US and CA are headed for a downturn in the economy in the next two years and we need a strong hand on our finances.  My vote will be going to John Chiang

U.S. Senator –

Top two candidates are the incumbent, Dianne Feinstein and State Senator and former Pro Tem, Kevin DeLeón.  Kevin has a strong legislative history in Sacramento, dealing with environment, housing and immigration.  Smart and articulate.  Sen. Feinstein has 24 years in the U.S. Senate.  Longest serving senator currently.

Feinstein’s age concerns me – she is in her 80’s, but each time I speak with her I am constantly impressed with her intelligence, knowledge of the issues and her continued passion for California. She sits on the Senate Intelligence committee and the Judiciary.

In these unsettled times with Trump in the White House – now is not the time to lose the seniority and go with a freshman Senator.  Feinstein has my vote.

Lt. Governor –

State Senator Ed Hernandez and former U.S. Ambassador to Hungary Eleni Kounalakis are the leading candidates.  Kounalakis did a good job as Ambassador even though she was considered a “Political” appointment – meaning large donations to candidates and Party (her father is a major land developer in Sacramento).  Hernandez has served in both the Assembly and Senate.  He is a major voice on health care issues in the Capitol.  Down to earth, accessible and willing to roll up his sleeves and do the work, Hernandez has my vote.

Secretary of State –

There is only one candidate qualified for this position and that is the incumbent, Alex Padilla.  Former City Councilman in Los Angeles, President of the League of CA Cities, former State Senator and has one term in as Secretary of State.  He has shown he understands the position and has worked tirelessly to get everyone registered to vote.  I am marking down Alex Padilla.

State Controller –

My vote will be going to the incumbent, Betty Yee.  Friendly, articulate and easy going she makes the world of state finance almost easy to understand.  She deserves another term.

State Treasurer –

The leading candidates are Fiona Ma, former state legislator and member of the Board of Equalization and perennial candidate Greg Conlon.  Fiona has immersed herself in finance issues and has a broad knowledge of what the job entails.  She has been a leading voice for legalization of cannabis and is working diligently to bring the industry in the banking system.   My vote is Fiona Ma.

Attorney General –

Xavier Becerra is the appointed incumbent.  He was a long-term US Congressman from the Los Angeles area until Kamala Harris was elected to the U.S. Senate.  He has been a strong voice on immigration, LGBT issues and the environment.  Dave Jones, currently the State Insurance Commission is the other top candidate.  Dave was on the Sacramento City Council when he was elected to the state legislature.  Also, strong on the issues he has real passion for the position.

Both men are highly qualified and California will be blessed to have either one.  My choice however is Dave Jones.

Insurance Commissioner –

Top candidates are State Senator Ricardo Lara and former Commissioner Steve Poizner.  Poizner was elected years ago as a Republican now has no party preference.  Wealthy.  Having been in the job he knows what it takes.  He was not a big proponent of rate payers while in office but tended to lean in the insurance company way.

Ricardo Lara has served in the Assembly and Senate.  Currently is chairman of the Appropriations Committee.  If elected he will be the highest ranking Gay person elected in the state.  He has been a fighter on immigration, environment and LGBT issues.

I’m voting for Lara.

The rest of the races, while just as important, will be listed by my recommendations.

Board of Equalization – Ken Lopez-Maddox

U.S. House of Representatives – Raul Ruiz

State Senate – Joy Silver

State Assembly, District 42 – Chad Mayes

State Assembly, District 56 – Eduardo Garcia

State Superintendent of Public Instruction – Tony Thurmond

County Supervisor – Manuel Perez

District Attorney – Mike Hestrin

Sheriff – Stan Sniff

County Treasurer – Hakan Jackson


68 – YES

69 – YES

70 – NO

71 – NO

72 – YES


That’s it for this week.

Stay strong – KEEP RESISTING!!!