16 Things to Watch on Election Night

As the 2014 election wraps up, here are some statistics and historical facts to watch for when you see the results.

Governor

Unruh

TENURE: Jerry Brown is already the longest-serving Governor in State history (his tenure surpassed Earl Warren’s in October 2013). With all other living former Governors term limited to eight years (except George Deukmejian, who also left office before term limits), it’s unlikely that we will see a longer-serving Governor anytime in the near future.

Also worth noting is the total number of votes that Brown receives. In the 1986 General Election, Jesse Unruh was elected Controller with 5,589,633 votes, becoming the California constitutional officer to receive the highest number of votes ever. I have a sneaking suspicion that we may see that record broken this year by either Brown or Chiang.

Flournoy

Controller

If elected, Ashley Swearengin would be California’s first Republican state Controller since Houston Flournoy was elected in 1970. Flournoy is interesting because he eventually went on to be the Republican who lost to Jerry Brown, giving him his first term.

Riles

Superintendent of Public Instruction

Tom Torlakson came very close to winning reelection in the primary, but Marshall Tuck has been running a strong campaign since then. If Torlakson is defeated, he will be the first Superintendent of Public Instruction to be defeated in a reelection bid since Wilson Riles in 1982.

Congressional District 7
If Doug Ose wins, it will be the first time an incumbent Democratic congressman was defeated in a reelection bid by a Republican since 1994 (when three incumbents were replaced; Daniel Hamburg, Richard H. Lehman, and Lynn Schenk)

Miller

Miller

Congressional Districts 11 and 33

Pete Stark, who left office in 2013, currently holds record as California’s longest-serving Congressman (for his 40 years between 1973 and 2013). Congressmen Henry Waxman and George Miller, both of whom are not running for reelection, will leave office in January after 14,611 days in office (an exact tie with Stark).

Congressional District 12
Assuming that she is reelected (she has defeated this same opponent twice before), Nancy Pelosi will become the longest-serving current member of California’s congressional delegation.

Congressional District 17
If Ro Khanna wins, it will be the first time an incumbent Democratic congressman was defeated in a reelection bid by a member of their own party since 2012 (when Howard Berman, Joe Baca, Laura Richardson, and Pete Stark left office that way). Being the “first person to do something that hasn’t been done since two years ago” doesn’t seem that impressive, but it actually is.

Congressional District 26
As noted in Congressional District 7; if Jeff Gorell wins, it will be the first time an incumbent Democratic congressman was defeated in a reelection bid by a Republican since 1994 (when three incumbents were replaced; Daniel Hamburg, Richard H. Lehman, and Lynn Schenk)

There will only ever be ONE Ralph Dills

Dills

State Senate District 04

If he is reelected, this will be Jim Nielsen’s fifth time winning election to the State Senate. The last time a person won their fifth senate election was 1994, when Diane Watson and Ken Maddy won their 5th elections, Ruben Ayala won his seventh, and Ralph Dills won his eighth.

Senator Z

State Senate District 14

If Luis Chavez unseats incumbent Andy Vidak, he will be the first Democrat since George Zenovich in 1978 to win that particular district number (Senate District 14).

State Senate District 28
With two Republicans (Bonnie Garcia and Jeff Stone) on the ballot in  SD 28, it’s guaranteed that one of them will become the first Republican to win in that district number since Bill Symons Jr. won it in 1962.

State Assembly District 36
The race in AD36 is one of the most contested in the state, and Steve Fox has a very real chance of losing. If he does, it will be the first time in twenty years that an incumbent Democratic state legislator was defeated for a reelection bid by a Republican.

Wright

State Assembly District 40

Redistricting makes district numbers jump around every ten years, but it’s still impressive that until Mike Morrell won it in 2012, no Republican had been elected to represent Assembly District 40 since the Great Depression (1938). Can Marc Steinorth be the first Republican to win it and hold it for a full term (Morrell moved to the Senate just 16 months into the term) or will Kathleen Henry bring it back into the Democratic win column?
It’s worth noting that the Senate District which was Republican for the longest time (SD-35) hadn’t elected a Democrat since Harry C. Westover in 1936 when Rod Wright won it in 2012. Like Morrell, Wright departed before finishing his ground-breaking term.

Conrad

State Assembly District 57

If Ian Calderon loses in AD57, Rita Topalian would be the first Republican since Charles J. Conrad in 1970 to hold that District Number. Conrad was a Republican movie star who decided to pursue elected office in California, but actually did it decades before Reagan or Muscles.

State Assembly District 65
Like AD 36, the race in AD 65 is highly contested, and it could be several days before we know the final outcome. If Quirk-Silva loses her reelection, it will be the first time in twenty years that an incumbent Democratic state legislator was defeated for a reelection bid by a Republican.