ASSEMBLY DISTRICT ELECTIONS | Every odd year, California Democrats, almost entirely the insiders and party activists, choose 14 delegates per Assembly district to write and influence the party's platform. In most years, few vote and the exercise is often an avenue for local assemblymembers to flex their power and elect a slate of delegates of their choosing.
But this didn't happen in Oakland's 18th District last weekend when 13 of Assemblymember Rob Bonta's slate of 14 candidates failed to win a delegate seat. The defeat was largely leveled by an energized and well-organized group of progressives inspired by Sen. Bernie Sanders's presidential run.
Bonta's defeat is surprising because of his strong popularity in the district that includes Oakland, Alameda and San Leandro. Jim Oddie, Bonta's assembly district director, said the results don't mean anything when it comes to the enthusiasm of party insiders toward the assemblymember.
"There's a lot of energy and excitement around the party," said Oddie. "If you look at his record, he's one of the most progressive leaders around."
But the trouncing handed to Bonta by Berners was unique among neighboring assembly district.
Several East Bay Assembly districts reported much higher voter turnout than previous years. More than 800 18th District voters cast a ballot during a downpour in San Leandro last Saturday.
In Richmond's 15th District, more than 1,500 Democrats cast a vote. Assemblymember Tony Thurmond's slate of delegates swept the race.
In addition, to East Bay Democrats being energized to oppose the incoming Trump administration, new rules enacted this year allowed for greater participation. As opposed to years past, voters were able to register the same day as Democrats and vote in the delegate election.
ASSEMBLY DELEGATE RESULTS
AD 15 MALES: Brett Badelle, Vincent Casalaina, Alex Knox, Gregory Lyman, Jael Myrick, Abel Pineda, Sanjay Ranchod. FEMALES: Judith Appel, Wendy Bloom (executive board rep.), Kathy Chao Rothberg, Jess Dervin-Ackerman, Beatriz Leyva-Cutler, Rochelle Pardue, Okimoto, Rita Xavier.
AD16 MALES: Dean Wallace, Connor O'Neill, Sawn Kumagai, Jerome Pandell, Greg Bonato, Bob Donovan, Thomas Tellner. FEMALES: Amy Chen, Renee Zeimer, Sabina Zafar, Amy Miller, Ann Katzburg, Brodie Hilp, Debbie Look (executive board rep).
AD18 MALES: Sean Dugar (executive board rep), Michael Lee, Jeromey Shafer, Dan Wood, Carter Lavin, Michael Fortes, Mike Katz-Lacabe. FEMALES: Pamela Harris, Rabia Keeble, Eleanor Casson, Amber Childress, Mara Schechter, Gabrielle Dolphin, Malia Vella.
AD20 MALES: Rocky Fernandez (executive board rep), Frederic Morrison, Gary Singh, Cullen Tiernan, Jerry Ahuja, Seth Rediker, Tim Horn. FEMALES: Jennifer Kassan, Miki Nakamura, Michele Jenkins, Raisa Donato, Moira Dean, Dolly Adams, Diana Silva.
AD25 MALES: Dharminder Dewan, Tejinder Dhami, Rejesh Gupta, Hosam Haggag, Romesh Japra, Rob Means, Mahesh Pakala (executive board rep). FEMALES: Alka Bhatnagar, Veena Birla, Karina Dominguez, Madhu Gupta, Carmen Montano, Reena Rao, Sameena Usman.