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California Globe Voter Guide to the 2020 March Primary

Do you have questions about the California March Primary? Ask and we will answer

By Katy Grimes, February 26, 2020 5:32 am

California is having its first ever early March Primary Election this March 3, 2020.

California Globe is providing you a peek into the races statewide, and some hot seats and issues.

Remember, registration deadline is February 18. However, California does now allow Online registration, and same-day registration.

This March, for the first time, Californians will be able to conditionally register to vote at any polling place or vote center on Election Day and during the two-week period prior to the election.

We will be updating this page, as well as answering any questions you leave in the comments section.


Battleground Primaries:

California top-two battleground primaries, 2020
Office Incumbent Open seat? MOV in 2018 Challengers: Republicans and Democrats
California’s 16th Democratic Party Jim Costa (D) Defeated D+15.0  


California’s 10th Democratic Party Josh Harder (D) Defeated D+4.5  


California’s 21st Democratic Party TJ Cox (D) Defeated D+0.8  


California’s 22nd Republican Party Devin Nunes (R) Defeated R+5.4  


California’s 25th former Rep. Katie Hill (Resigned) Defeated D+8.7  


California’s 39th Democratic Party Gil Cisneros Defeated D+3.1
California’s 45th Democratic Party Katie Porter Defeated D+4.1  


California’s 48th Democratic Party Harley Rouda Defeated R+7.1  


California’s 50th Republican Party Duncan Hunter (not running for reelection) Defeated R+3.4  


Other important congressional races include Andy Caldwell challenging Rep. Salud Carbajal in California’s 24th congressional district on the Central Coast.

California Labor, Agriculture and Business Advocate Andy Caldwell Challenging Rep. Salud Carbajal

and former Republican Rep. Darrell Issa about his current campaign for the 50th Congressional District:

California Globe Interviews Former Rep. Darrell Issa

Eric Early is running to oust Rep. Adam Schiff:


Eric Early Announces He is Running Against ‘Liar and Leaker’ Rep. Adam Schiff

Michelle Steel is challenging Rep. Harley Rouda in CA-48.

O.C. Sup Michelle Steel Wants to Take Orange County Back for California’s Congressional Republicans


Ballotpedia has much more information on the March Primary.

Ballot Initiatives

The only ballot measure Californians are voting on in March is Proposition 13, a school bond. It has nothing to do with California’s 1978 Prop. 13.

March 3, 2020:

Type Title Subject Description
BI Proposition 13 Bonds Issues $15 billion in bonds for school and college facilities


For the upcoming November election, there are many initiatives already qualified for the ballot.

November 3, 2020:

Type Title Subject Description
CISS Criminal Sentencing, Parole, and DNA Collection Initiative Law Enforcement Makes changes to policies related to criminal sentencing charges, prison release, and DNA collection
CICA Tax on Commercial and Industrial Properties for Education and Local Government Funding Initiative Taxes Requires commercial and industrial properties to be taxed based on market value and dedicates revenue
VR Replace Cash Bail with Risk Assessments Referendum Trials Replaces cash bail with risk assessments for suspects awaiting trial
CISS Local Rent Control Initiative Housing Expands local governments’ power to use rent control


Ballotpedia has all of the ballot initiatives which have been cleared for signature gathering, as of February 8, 2020.

For Northern California Voters

Sacramento: Measure G:

city charter amendment to divert tax revenue to a children’s fund amending the city charter to allow 2.5% of unrestricted revenues to be allocated to a children’s fund for the next 12 fiscal years. measure establishes a Sacramento Children’s Fund Planning and Oversight Commission and was qualified for the ballot by Sac Kids First, made up of groups that stand to benefit from the annual $10 million tax revenue.

Rep. Doris Matsui (D-CA) is running for reelection in District 6. She has three challengers – two Democrats and one Republican. Matsui first won election to the US House of Representatives in a special election in 2005 following the death of her husband Rep. Robert Matsui, also in 2005.

Rep. Ami Bera (D-CA) is being challenged by Republican Colonel “Buzz” Patterson, a career Air Force pilot and Clinton Administration official responsible for carrying the nuclear football. Rep. Ami Bera has represented the district since January 2013 following redistricting. Currently Congressional District 7 represents southern and eastern Sacramento County. California Globe analyzed this District 7 race and interviewed Patterson.

Close State Races that have been analyzed by the California Globe:

San Francisco: San Francisco voters will have five ballot measures on March 3 to consider.

Proposition A: Decades of deferred maintenance has left several City College campuses in dire need of renovation, according to Prop. A’s supporters. The measure would allow the city college district to sell $845 million in bonds to perform improvements to school buildings, including seismic retrofits.

Proposition B: As part of the city’s ongoing efforts to ensure San Francisco can rebound and rebuild after the Big One, Prop. B is the latest earthquake safety and emergency response bond. If passed, the city would be allowed to sell $628.5 million in bonds to finance infrastructure improvements at police and fire stations, the 911 call center, and other disaster-response facilities.

Proposition C: Prop. C seeks to ensure that employees of the San Francisco Housing Authority can access their city retirement medical benefits if they found another city job following the agency’s collapse in March.

Proposition D: With so many San Francisco neighborhoods beset by a rash of empty storefronts, Prop. D would tax property owners who keep ground-floor space in certain commercial districts vacant.

Proposition E: Prop. E, which needs a simple majority to pass, would restrict future office development if San Francisco fails to meet state-mandated affordable housing goals.

(San Francisco Chronicle has more details on the five ballot initiatives.)

Rep. Josh Harder (D-CA) faces three Republicans in the Congressional 10th district focused around Tracy. The current Republican favorite to challenge Harder is former Turlock City Councilman Ted Howze. California Globe analyzed this race and interviewed Howze.

Rep. Jim Costa (D-CA) will go against several Democrats and a Republican in the Fresno-centered 16th District battle. Democratic Fresno City Council President Esmeralda Soria hopes to take on Costa in the General, but Republican Jim Cunningham could get the number two spot if the Democratic vote is too fractured.

Close State Races that have been analyzed by the California Globe:

For Southern California Voters

Los Angeles County: Measure R

Measure R: If passed, it grants the Sheriff Civilian Oversight Commission to develop a plan designed to reduce jail population and incarceration and granting the Commission subpoena power to investigate complaints.

Disgraced Congresswoman Katie Hill’s 25th Congressional District is wide open. Serving the LA suburbs, 13 people have signed on for the primary. Democratic Assemblywoman Christy Smith (D-Santa Clarita) and Young Turks host Cenk Uyger are leading the Democratic pack, being endorsed by Gavin Newsom and Bernie Sanders respectively. Republicans, meanwhile, have former Congressman Steve Knight. A smith-Knight battle is likely, but Uyger has proven to have a lot of support.

Close State Races that have been analyzed by the California Globe:

Inland Empire

San Bernardino County: No Major Ballot Propositions besides a few local tax levies

Riverside County: Measure A

Measure A: The Riverside Community College District wants a $715 million bond measure to improve facilities at 3 locations: Riverside City College, Moreno Valley College and Norco College.

Rep. Paul Cook (R-CA) is stepping aside, leaving an open race in the 8th district. Assemblyman Jay Obernolte (R- Big Bear) has gotten the GOP’s nod while other Republicans and Democrats are doing everything they can to come close to the heavy district favorite. The closest is Democratic activist Chris Bubser, but she still trails by quite a lot in the polls.

Close State Races that have been analyzed by the California Globe:

Orange County

Measure A: Measure A would require any Board of Supervisors’ proposal to impose, extend, or increase a tax to receive at least two-thirds approval of the Board of Supervisors before the tax is presented to the voters.

Most Orange County races for Congressional, Assembly, and State Senate races are tight between Republicans and Democrats in 2020.

Rep. Gil Cisneros (D-CA) faces a tight race in the 39th Congressional District against Republican and former Assemblywoman Young Kim.

Rep. Katie Porter (D-CA) also faces a barrage of GOP challengers in the 45th district with former Laguna Hills Mayor and current City Councilman Don Sedwick facing a tussle with Yorba Linda City Councilwoman Peggy Huang and other Republicans in the primary.

Rep. Harley Rouda (D-CA) is yet another Democrat facing off against Republicans in Orange County in a close 48th Districtrace. Orange County Supervisor Michelle Park Steel will most likely get the Republican nod on March 3rd, but like November, it’s going to be a close one in March.

Close State Races that have been analyzed by the California Globe:

San Diego County

Measure A: A land use and development measure, Measure A would amend the San Diego County General Plan to require voter approval for General Plan amendments that increase residential density for property designated by the General Plan as Semi-Rural or Rural.

Measure B: Another land use measure, this time a little more personal to voters. Measure B asks for approval to continue developing the Newland Sierra Project and build over 2,000 new homes and 1,777,684 square feet of commercial space on what is now wildlands.

Measure C: Measure C, aka ‘the convention center one’, would increase the hotel tax with a tiered range from 1.25% to 3.25%, with revenue dedicated to expanding the San Diego Convention Center, improving streets and related infrastructure, and funding programs to reduce homelessness.

Measure D: Under Measure D, San Diego would require that the city council appoints the city auditor from a list of three candidates recommended by the Audit Committee and term limits the auditor to two five-year terms.

Rep. Mike Levin (D-CA) and Republican challenger San Juan Capistrano Mayor Brian Maryott are neck to neck in the 49th Congressional race.

Former Congressman Duncan Hunter’s resignation in the 50th District leaves this an open race. Republicans almost exclusively back former Congressman Darrell Issa, although State Senator Brian Jones (R – Santee) may be a surprise. Ammar Campa-Najjar, a former Obama White House staffer, leads the Democrats.

The 53rd District is another open race, this time due to Representative Susan Davis (D-CA) deciding not to run. 16 others are running. Top among the Democrats is San Diego City Council President Georgette Gomez. For the Republicans it’s a three way tie going in.

Close State Races that have been analyzed by the California Globe:


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12 thoughts on “California Globe Voter Guide to the 2020 March Primary

  1. Katie can you tell me anything about Richard Desmond who is running for supervisor in Arden Arcade . I listen to you every week on Phil Cowan and think you are great. Keep up the great work

  2. You have the wrong name of the Republican challenger in the 16th district analysis. It is not Jim Cunningham. It is correct in the grid.

    1. The 3rd Congressional District has been held by John Garamendi since 2007, and many are astounded that he’s hung on to it. It’s supposed to be D+5, but was headed back to Republican in 1998 when it was reapportioned (gerrymandered) back into a Democrat. Garamendi is vulnerable after the impeachment debacle, so Sean Feucht may resonate.

    2. Can you tell me what you know about Tamika Hamilton also running as a Republican in the 3rd Congressional District?

  3. Katy, I have the same question as Celia. We have a choice between Sean Sen Feucht and Tamika Hamilton? It looks like Tamika has the endorsement of the Yolo Republicans but that doesn’t carry much weight for me. I am getting mailers from Sean Feuvht–who looks like he willing to spend (his money?) for the seat. No literature from Tamika?

    I think Garamendi is beatable. Just talk to the commuters trying to cross the Yolo Causeway at 5:00? He is advocating Medicare for All but the roads are in bad condition, Your thoughts? I enjoy your thoughts on 1380.

  4. I heard Tamika Hamilton on Phil Cowan this morning at 8:30. She was most impressive. Her website tells you a lot
    about her. I am now planning on voting for her.

  5. nothing big, I believe you have misspelled Humbolt on your map of california, I think it is Humboldt with a d

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