Boxer Declines Another Term

With the announcement today that U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer will not seek another term in 2016, it is worth noting that at the end of her current term (in January 2017), Boxer will leave office after 24 years as California’s third longest-serving Senator. Her tenure falls behind only those of Hiram Johnson (27 years) and Dianne Feinstein, and ties with that of Alan Cranston, her immediate predecessor.

Three Senators Leave for Congress

The Senate Daily Journal for January 5th is now online, containing the resignation letters for State Senators Mark DeSaulnierSteve Knight and Mimi Walters.

It’s notable that all three letters arrived on different days and all three specified different days and times for the respective resignations to take place. DeSaulnier wrote his letter before Christmas, resigning at 11:59 p.m. on January 2nd, Walters wrote a January 3rd letter resigning effective that same day. Knight’s letter (dated January 5th) resigned effective that day.

Senator DeSaulnier wrote his letter with “great sadness and joy…”

DeSaulnier

December 23, 2014
The Honorable Kevin de León
President pro Tempore of the Senate
Dear Senator De León:
It has been an honor to represent the Seventh Senate District for the last six years. As you know, I was elected to the 11th Congressional District in November. So it is with great sadness and joy that I write to tender my resignation from the State Senate effective at 11:59 p.m. on Friday, January 2, 2015. I will miss all of my colleagues, the staff at the Senate Desk and the Senate Sergeants and all the people that make the Senate a wonderful place to work.
Sincerely,
MARK DESAULNIER
Senator, 7th District

Walters, who had a contentious relationship with De Leon during her time in the Senate, wrote:

Walters

January 3, 2015
The Honorable Kevin de León
President pro Tempore of the Senate
Dear Senator De León:
Effective January 3, 2015, I resign my seat as State Senator, District 37. I am grateful for the time I spent with my fellow Senators and look forward to further serving the great state of California in Congress.
Respectfully,
MIMI WALTERS
Senator, 37th District

Steve Knight, who apparently understood that although the Congressional term began January 3rd, he would not be sworn in until the 6th, wrote the following:

Knight

January 5, 2015
The Honorable Kevin de León
President pro Tempore of the Senate
Dear Senator De León:
It has been an honor and privilege to be a member of this august body and to serve the constituents of the 21st Senate District. In November, I was chosen by the voters to represent them in Washington D.C., and I will be sworn-in to the 114th United States Congress on January 6, 2015. Therefore, although bitter-sweet, I am resigning from the California State Senate effective January 5, 2015. Thank you for the comradery and friendship.
Sincerely,
STEVE KNIGHT
Senator, 21st District

Governor Brown has yet to call the Special Election to fill these three vacancies.

More Things to Watch on Election Night

Sorry about that folks. I spent a little more time thinking about the upcoming election and found a few more things for you to ponder on election night. Continuing the numbering from my previous post…

17.  First former Speaker Elected to the Senate in 82 Years.
If Bob Hertzberg wins in SD-18, he will become the first Speaker in 82 years to reach the upper house. The last Assembly Speaker to become a State Senator was Frank F. Merriam (Speaker in 1923-1926), who was elected to the State Senate in 1928 and went on to be Governor in 1934.

18. Largest Incoming Class of Female Senators in State History
1992 is frequently called “The Year of the Woman” because of the number of women elected that year. The California State Senate actually only picked up two new female Senators that year. The current record for largest class of new female Senators is five, set in 1999 and in 2009. It looks quite possible that record will be broken this year with the election of six new women to the Senate.

19. Most Republican Women Senators in History
If Pat Bates and Bonnie Garcia and Janet Nguyen and Jean Fuller win, the Senate will have 5 Republican women, more than at any other point in it’s history. The previous high-water mark of 3 was set in 1993 (with Senators Bergeson, Morgan and Wright) and matched again in 2010-2012 (with Senators Fuller, Runner, and Wright).

20. Most Women Senators in History
If Bates, Nguyen, Mitchell, Garcia, Fluke, Leyva, and Fuller win their Senate races, they will join Senators Wolk, Galgiani, Hancock, Jackson, Liu, Pavley, and Walters (bringing the number of women up to 14 (which is the most women that we’ve ever had). Of course, Mimi Walters will probably be resigning fairly quickly to take her seat in Congress, dropping that number back down to 13 (which is a number that we have seen before).

21. Largest Vote Separation in Recent History in the Governor’s Race
The percentage of the vote separating the winner and second-place candidate for Governor has averaged 12.3% over the past 50 years (with the highest margin being George Deukmejian in 1986 with 23.1% and the lowest being Jerry Brown in 1974 with 2.9%). The highest margin since WWII was Earl Warren in 1946, with 84.7% of the vote separating him from his nearest competitor.

22. Most Resignations in a Session
Although the election is almost here and the Legislature has been adjourned for a while, the 2013-14 Regular Session of the Legislature is still in office. Before the current session, the record for most Senate resignations in a session was set in 1857, when four Senators (Mandeville, Norman, Tilford, and Walkup) left before the end of session. So far in the current session, there have been six resignations (Negrete-McLeod, Vargas, Rubio, Price, Emmerson, and Wright). Additionally, two current Senators are running for Congress, and both are expected to win (DeSaulnier and Walters). If either of them resign prior to November 30th, their resignations would count toward the 2013-14 Session, if they wait until January (when Congress gets sworn in), it would count in the 2015-16 session.