Santa Monica Election: Local Races, Early Voting

SANTA MONICA, CA — With the election just a day away, it’s time to make a voting plan and study up on local elections.

Come Nov. 8, 12 candidates will vie for three open Santa Monica City Council seats as Lana Negrete, Mayor Sue Himmelrich and Mayor Pro Tem Kristin McCowan all have terms ending this year. Negrete is the only one running for reelection. Meet some of the candidates for council:

Eight candidates will also vie for three open spots on the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District Board of Education. For more information on local races, visit this link.

Find out what’s happening in Santa Monicawith free, real-time updates from Patch.

As of Oct. 24, 67,210 people were registered to vote in Santa Monica. 40,454 people were registered Democratic compared to 7,685 registered Republican. Some 15,146 voters were registered without party preference, according to Los Angeles County Registrar data.

Where to vote

Through Tuesday, residents can vote at multiple sites near Santa Monica:

Find out what’s happening in Santa Monicawith free, real-time updates from Patch.

  • Oakwood Recreation Center, 767 California Ave, 10/29-11/7: 10 a.m. – 7 p.m.; 11/8: 7 am – 8 pm
  • Professional Development Learning Car, 2802 4th Street, 11/5-11/7: 10 am – 7 pm; 11/8: 7 am – 8 pm
  • Joslyn Park, 633 Kensington Rd, 11/5-11/7: 10 am – 7 pm; 11/8: 7 am – 8 pm

In-person voting locations will offer same-day voter registration, replacement ballots, accessible voting machines and language assistance for those who need it.

Find a polling place near you using this tool.

Ballot Drop Boxes

Every registered voter in California received an election ballot in the mail, and there are plenty of ballot drop boxes throughout the state in which to deposit them.

  • Santa Monica Library, 601 Santa Monica Blvd.
  • Montana Avenue Library, 1704 Montana Ave.
  • Virginia Avenue Park, 2200 Virginia Ave.
  • Marine Park, 1406 Marine St.

LA County Elections

Beverly Hills voters will elect a new representative to Sheila Kuehl’s seat representing the Los Angeles Board of Supervisors’ 3rd District. The district covers much of the San Fernando Valley and communities from Malibu to Hollywood.

State Senator Bob Hertzberg and West Hollywood City Council member Lindsey Horvath took the top two spots in June’s primary, pushing them forward to Tuesday’s election. The two have participated in a number of public forums, which you can watch here:

Incumbent Alex Villanueva will fight for his spot as the Los Angeles County Sheriff, running against Long Beach Police Chief Robert Luna. More about that race here.

Voters will weigh in on a ballot measure for county authorities to be able to remove a sheriff and a cannabis business tax. Visit this link for a full list of ballot measures in LA County.

Statewide Races

Millions of Californians will be called back to the ballot boxes this year to decide who will occupy the governor’s seat as well as a slew of other important statewide positions. Golden Staters will be asked to vote on candidates for:


gov. Gavin Newsom is up for re-election in 2022, and he’s likely to sail to another victory with ease after surviving a recall election last year and managing and dominating in the primary election.

Nonetheless, he will face opposing state Sen. Brian Dahle (R-Bieber), whom he beat by nearly 40 points in the June primary.

Dahle’s campaign has raised just $2 million, while Newsom’s campaign has raised more than $23 million, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Newsom leads Dahle by a 27-point margin — 58 to 31 percent — among likely voters, according to a September Public Policy Institute of California survey.

READ MORE: Rumors Of Presidential Run Swirl As Newsom Seeks Re-election

Attorney General

Attorney General Rob Bonta was appointed after Xavier Becerra became the first Latino to hold the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services seat.

Bonta, a Democrat and former state lawmaker, will face off against Republican Nathan Hochman, a former assistant US attorney general and a criminal attorney. Hochman says the state needs a new attorney general who will combat rising crime.

Hochman got 18 percent of the vote in the June 7 primary, while Bonta won 54.8 percent.

Insurance Commissioner

Incumbent Democrat Ricardo Lara will run for a second term as insurance commissioner, a seat that is tasked with regulating the state insurance industry. Republican cybersecurity equipment manufacturer Robert Howell will challenge Lara in the general election.

He has described himself as a “Reagan Republican,” who says he’s committed to helping wildfire victims and insurance premiums that are “abusively inflated,” CalMatters reported.

Secretary of State

Incumbent Secretary of State Shirley Weber, a Democrat, was appointed by Newsom after Alex Padilla ascended to his seat as a senator. She will face Republican Rob Bernosky, who describes himself as a “practical conservative.”

Bernosky, the chief financial officer of a tech company, is a longtime activist and former Hollister school board member. He previously ran for state assembly in 2010 and in 2012 but was unsuccessful.

If reelected, Weber said she plans to change the state’s recall system after the attempted recall of Newsom last year. Democrats argue that the recall process was abused.

“Very little conversation occurred about: Does this man need to be recalled? Has he done something so egregious that we want to remove him from office?” Weber told CalMatters.

READ MORE: What Would Shirley Weber Do Next As California Secretary Of State?


The race for controller in a California general election doesn’t typically generate much interest, but June’s primary was among the most interesting races statewide. That’s because a Republican, Lanhee Chen, was able to advance. Chen opened the door for a Republican to have a shot at their first statewide office since 2006.

The state’s fiscal officer typically facilitates audits and serves on some 70 state boards and commissions.

In November, Chen will face Malia Cohen, a Democrat and member of the state Board of Equalization. Chen is a Stanford instructor and former top Republican adviser.

READ MORE: Chen Advances To Runoff For CA Controller

State Treasurer

Democratic incumbent Fiona Ma will face Republican Jack Guerrero in November. Guerrero is a certified public accountant serving on the Cudahy City Council in Los Angeles County.

If re-elected, Ma said her priority would be to meet Newsom’s goal of building 3.5 million homes by 2025, she told CalMatters.

Lieutenant Governor

Incumbent Eleni Kounalakis, a Democrat, is being challenged by Republican Angela Underwood Jacobs, a bank manager who has experience serving as a member of the Lancaster City Council.

Kounalakis is the first woman to be elected lieutenant governor of California and said she wants to ensure a woman succeeds to the governor’s seat in 2026, hinting at a run herself.

Superintendent of Public Instruction

Unlike the other statewide races, this competition is a nonpartisan one. In November, Lance Ray Christensen, an education policy executive, will try to unseat incumbent Tony Thurmond.


proposition 1

This measure would codify the rights to abortions and birth control within the California’s constitution. Read more about it here.

Proposal 26

California does not currently allow sports betting, but since the US Supreme Court opened the door to legalized sports wagering three years ago, California has become the jackpot for the gambling industry since it has the most professional and college teams in the nation in addition to the largest population and concentration of wealth.

Prop. 26 is a constitutional amendment that would allow it in tribal casinos and racetracks. Read more about it here.

Proposal 27

Prop. 26 seeks to allow it in tribal casinos only and racetracks while Prop. 27 is a constitutional amendment that would allow some tribes and gambling companies such as FanDuel and DraftKings to operate online or mobile sports betting outside of tribal lands.

The dueling propositions present a political cage match between gambling entities battling for control over the future of the billion-dollar sports betting industry in California. Because both propositions are diametrically opposed, the passage of both would likely trigger legal battles. Read more about it here.

Proposal 28

Prop. 28 seeks to set aside funding every year for arts and music education in California’s K-12 public schools. Read more about it here. Proposition 29 Prop. 29 would require clinics to have at least one physician, nurse practitioner, or physician assistant on site when patients are being treated and to report infections related to dialysis treatment. Read more about it here.

Proposal 30

Prop. 30 would increase the tax on personal income above $2 million by 1.75% and dedicate the revenue to zero-emission vehicle subsidies, building charging stations and zero-emission vehicle infrastructure, reducing greenhouse gases and hiring and training firefighters to help combat wildfires. Read more about it here.

Proposal 31

A California law banning the sale of flavored tobacco products in stores and vending machines passed in 2020 but was placed on hold when a referendum initiated by the tobacco industry qualified for the 2022 ballot. Now, the issue is being put to the voters. Proposition 31 essentially asks voters: should the ban go into effect? A yes vote would uphold the ban. A no-vote would kill it. Read more about it here.

Prop 1: California’s Abortion Rights Amendment Explained

Prop 26: CA’s Tribal Legalized Sports Betting Measure Explained

Prop 27: CA’s Legalized Online Sports Betting Measure Explained

Prop 28: CA’s K-12 Art and Music Education Initiative Explained

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