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State Of Affairs: 2014 California primary election analysis




California governor Jerry Brown looks on as Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks at the Computer History Museum on March 5, 2014 in Mountain View, California.
California governor Jerry Brown looks on as Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks at the Computer History Museum on March 5, 2014 in Mountain View, California.
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

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Voters — some of them anyway — went to the polls yesterday here in California to vote in primary elections. Our reporters Frank Stoltz, Alice Walton and Kitty Felde were up late watching the results. 

There's a lot to talk about, including an interesting race for sheriff in LA County, and another to replace a retiring veteran, Representative Henry Waxman and the contest for California Governor. Jerry Brown came out on top in that race, and in the fall he'll face a Republican Neel Kashkari. Will the re-election will be a cakewalk for the governor?

There are stories this morning about how establishment Republicans are relieved that the Tea Party candidate for Governor, Tim Donnelly, got trounced. Will their favored candidate, Neel Kashkari, get trounced in the fall?  

One of the most fascinating races yesterday was the contest to replace retiring Congressman Henry Waxman, who represents a district that stretches from Beverly Hills to Malibu and south along the coast to the Palos Verdes Peninsula. It's a solid Democratic district, but the top vote getter is a Republican. 

This was the first statewide election since California's open primary system went into effect. But, as the dust settles, it seems like it didn't change much.  

Then there's the L.A. County Sheriff's race. The Department has been under investigation by Federal authorities,  allegations of a culture of abuse in the jails. The incumbant, Lee Baca, stepped down a few months ago. What happened at the polls yesterday?

Another hotly contested race here in Los Angeles is the crowded field seeking to replace retiring L.A. Country Supervisor Zev Yaraslovski. The top candidates were a former child actor and longtime legislator and a member of the Kennedy clan. 

In the other open seat for L.A. County Commission, a familiar name, Hilda Solis, had a good day with more than 70 percent of the vote. Some people were a bit puzzled when she left a White House cabinet position to run for this job. Tell us about her?

They say name recognition is everything in politics, and a lot of voters proved that in the race for California Secretary of State. Leland Yee, the state senator who's been charged with corruption and gun running got almost 10 percent of the vote. Still, if there is a statewide race in California that Republican might be able to win, this could be it.

We would be remiss if we did not talk about the historic results in two other local races: the race for Long Beach mayor and the challenge to Riverside District Attorney Paul Zellerbach.  

What do yesterday's election results tell us about the political climate in California?