The California primary for the U.S. Senate seat will be held June 7, 2022. It is an open primary with 20 candidates including Democrats, Republicans, Greens, Socialists, and independents. The top two vote getters, regardless of party, will go on to a general election. You would think that in a field that large the Centrist Independent Voter could find a truly attractive choice. Well, actually, it is not as easy as we had thought. Many of the candidates are running just to focus attention on a pet issue. While some of these issues are worthy, these candidates are not even trying to present themselves as viable general election candidates.
Gov. Gavin Newsom selected Alex Padilla (D) to replace Kamala Harris when she became Vice President. California law requires an election to fill the seat at the next available election cycle. There are, therefore, two U.S. Senate elections going on in California this week: one to finish out Harris’ Senate term and one to succeed her.
Padilla is heavily favored to win enough votes in the primary to put him into the general election for both terms.
Among the challengers there is one candidate who, in our mind, should also be there. That is Jon Elist. A Republican, he characterizes himself as a pragmatic conservative. There is a small amount of overlap between his positions on issues and those of the Centrist Independent Voter. On those issues he does address, he takes advantage of his newcomer status to remain vague on what he actually would support. I am sure that during the general election he will be forced to be more explicit about his policy preferences. Nevertheless, we find his attempt to seek the crossover vote rather than cater to the hard right as refreshing, and would like to see him on the ballot in the general election.
We, therefore, endorse Jon Elist in the June 7, 2022 California primary for the U.S. Senate.