SAN DIEGO – Heading into the November general election, all 80 California state Assembly seats and half of the state’s 40 Senate seats are up for grabs.
San Diego County voters will elect candidates in seven Assembly races to two-year terms. They will also vote on one Senate seat — District 39, which includes most of San Diego as well as Coronado, Del Mar, Solana Beach and parts of Rancho Santa Fe.
Six of the local Assembly matchups include incumbents. The one race which does not is District 78, open this fall because incumbent Assemblyman Todd Gloria is running against San Diego City Council President Pro Tem Barbara Bry to replace Kevin Faulconer as the city’s mayor.
The 78th district includes San Diego, Coronado, Del Mar, Imperial Beach and Solana Beach.
These are the candidates running to represent the area in Sacramento this year:
California State Assembly Races
District 71: Republican Assemblymember Randy Voepel and Democrat Liz Lavertu, a small businesswoman and mother
The district encompasses much of the eastern part of San Diego County and a small portion of Riverside County.
Voepel, the former mayor of Santee and a U.S. Navy veteran, has served in the Assembly since 2016. In the March primary, he won more than 61% of the vote against Lavertu, the chair of Spring Valley Community Planning Group.
District 75: Republican Assemblymember and business owner Marie Waldron and Democrat Kate Schwartz, a public health professional
Waldron, formerly of the Escondido City Council, has held statewide office since 2012, representing a district which includes Escondido, Fallbrook, Palomar Mountain, Valley Center and Vista, among other communities. Schwartz, bills herself as a “public health champion,” having worked as a behavioral health care provider for much of her career.
District 76: Democratic Assemblymember Tasha Boerner Horvath and Republican Melanie Burkholder, a licensed counselor and businesswoman
The district represents the communities of Carlsbad, Encinitas, Oceanside, Vista and Camp Pendleton.
In her first defense of the 76th District seat since winning it in 2018, Horvath squares off against Burkholder, who unsuccessfully ran for a spot on the Carlsbad City Council in 2016.
District 77: Democratic Assemblymember and educator Brian Maienschein and business owner and mother June Yang Cutter, who is running as a Republican
Maienschein, previously on the San Diego City Council and an ex-Republican, has held the 77th District seat since 2012. Last year, he announced he was switching parties, namechecking President Donald Trump for leading Republicans “to the extreme on issues that divide our country.”
Cutter, in turn, will look to flip the seat — which represents the northeastern San Diego County area — back red in a campaign to “challenge Sacramento’s political machine.”
District 78: Democrat Chris Ward, a San Diego City Councilmember, and Democrat Sarah Davis, a health care provider and mother
Two Democrats, Ward and Davis, will vie to replace Gloria in the 78th District. They beat out another Democrat, Micah Perlin, in the March primary.
District 79: Democratic Assemblymember Shirley N. Weber and Republican John Moore, a retired business analyst
Weber, who like Waldron has held the seat since 2012, will look to fend off Moore, who previously has mounted challenges against her in 2016 and 2018.
District 80: Democratic Assemblymember Lorena Gonzalez and Republican John J. Vogel, an information technology analyst
Gonzalez, who has represented District 80 since 2013, won nearly 73% of the vote during the March primary. Vogel, the challenger, is a former city employee now working in a role under the county’s Health & Human Services Agency. He has vowed to govern “for the people and not special interests.”
California State Senate
District 39: Democratic Senate President Pro Tempore Toni Atkins and Republican Linda Blankenship, a small business owner
Atkins, who previously served on San Diego City Council and as acting mayor in 2005, has risen up the ranks in the state’s leadership in recent years. She squares off in November against Blankenship, a self-described “citizen legislator” who has called for lower taxes in addition to a greater focus on education and religious issues.