op-of-the-ticket Democrats rarely fare well in California’s Central Valley.
Gov. Jerry Brown has won six statewide elections, but in tiny Colusa County north of Sacramento, where his great-grandfather August Schuckman planted the family roots in the 1850s, victory eluded him every time. California voters elected Dianne Feinstein to the U.S. Senate five times, but she never captured oil-rich Kern County, where her father grew up. But voters in both counties won’t have any choice but to select a Democrat for U.S. Senate in Tuesday’s election, because that’s their only option – Atty. Gen. Kamala Harris and Orange County Rep. Loretta Sanchez are the only two candidates on the ballot. In the era of the top-two primary, which sends first- and second-place finishers to the general election regardless of party, the outcome of the Harris-Sanchez race in the Central Valley could influence the tactics of candidates as early as the 2018 governor’s race. Read More