Six Write-in Candidates Qualify for November

Election 2012

Election 2012 Coverage

Six candidates qualified for the 2012 General Election ballot by running as write-ins in the June Primary, according to information released Friday by the Secretary of State’s office. According to the Statement of Vote for the June Primary, three Republicans and three Peace and Freedom Party candidates received enough votes to be one of the “Top Two” candidates who will appear on the November ballot;

Morgan Osborne, a Republican in Congressional District 37
Frank Miranda, a Republican in State Senate District 3
Mary Catherine McIlroy, a Peace and Freedom candidate in State Senate District 9
Lee Chauser, a Peace and Freedom candidate in State Senate District 33
Gene Ruyle, a Peace and Freedom candidate in State Assembly District 15
J.D. Bennett, a Republican in State Assembly District 31

Of the six candidates, all three Peace and Freedom nominees have previously run for state office before. None of the Republicans have sought partisan office before.

Incumbents Facing Challenges

Assemblywoman Betsy Butler at an event promoting aerospace jobs in California (April 2012).

Assemblywoman Betsy Butler

At least four incumbents are facing challenging primary opponents. Although usually a rare occurrence (there have only been two incumbents defeated in primaries in the last decade), the combination of new district lines and the top-two primary have made this a potentially record-breaking year. In fact, the last time California saw more than two incumbents defeated in a primary was 34 years ago when Senator Alfred Song and Assemblyman Mike Cullen were defeated in 1978.

The four in the greatest danger this year are;

Betsy Butler – Probably the most serious primary challenge for an incumbent legislator this year is in AD-50, where Torie Osborn has mounted a full-scale offensive on first-term Assemblywoman Butler. Osborn has more than four hundred thousand dollars on hand and has collected endorsements from L.A. Mayor Villaraigosa, the Nurses, and a number of local officials. Butler, who has almost half a million in the bank, has a fight on her hands. This is going to be the race to watch in June.

Dan Logue – Logue, a two-term Assemblyman, is facing a challenge from Tehama County Supervisor Bob Williams. With the advantages that come from being an incumbent and having the larger warchest (Logue had $193,908 in his account, compared to $57,917 for Williams), Logue has made himself difficult to dislodge. Williams, endorsed by the two other local Republican legislators (Senator La Malfa and Assemblyman Nielsen), has a major challenge cut out for him in the next month.

Beth Gaines – Gaines faces a challenge in AD-06 from Andy Pugno, a fellow Republican who ran in 2010 for AD-05 (and lost to Richard Pan). Shortly before the end of the filing period, Pugno decided to jump into the race for the sixth, putting a hurdle in what had appeared to be an easy reelection for the first-term Assemblywoman. Gaines will benefit from a strong name ID, while Pugno will have an advantage (in the Primary) from his strong conservative background. This too will be one to watch.

Alan Mansoor – Freshman Assemblyman Mansoor faces a challenge from Newport Beach City Councilwoman Leslie Daigle. Although a ‘legislator vs. councilmember’ match-up would usually be an easy call, Daigle has built up an impressive $107,955 in her account (with Mansoor holding a narrow lead at $115,371). Her online endorsement list demonstrates strong support in Newport Beach, but translating that to a victory in June will likely be a tough challenge.

Libertarian Party Nominates Gary Johnson

The Libertarian Party made former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson their nominee for the Presidency today at their national convention in Las Vegas. Johnson, who served as Governor of New Mexico from 1995-2003, was an early 2012 Republican candidate for President until he withdrew in December.