A Progressive Procrastinators 2014 Primary Guide Part One: Top Statewide Contests


You also might want  to visit our last-minute cheat sheet, covering many Statewide and Local races.

UPDATE: For information on the November 2014 General Election, see our coverage here.

By Doug Porter

There are so many decisions to make. My voting district’s mail-in ballot for the June 3, 2014 election has 26 choices to be made. Opening that envelope made me realize I could no longer put off writing this series…

The fictional (activist) fairy on my shoulder says,“Say it loud & say it proud! Voting is the most fundamental duty of every citizen. Do it for truth, justice and the American way.”

The pretend (procrastinator) demon on my other shoulder says  “Ugh. I’d rather watch Buffy the Vampire Slayer re-runs.”

So here we go…Today we’ll take a look at the top statewide contests. Actual SDFP endorsements will be in another article, though I doubt you’ll much trouble figuring out which way I personally lean.

Remember, California has a top-two primary system, in which the top two vote-getters, regardless of party, go on to the general election. You’ll note there are no GOP endorsed candidates for some statewide offices, due to a party rule against blessing candidates in races with more than one Republican running. (For even more of our June 2014 primary coverage, go here.)

♦ = party endorsement ♣ = labor endorsement  ∇ = Dems for Equality endorsement 

Governor – The Front Runners

Say What?  It’s a shoo-in for Gov. Brown.

From the San Francisco Chronicle:
It tells you how completely California has become a one-party state that practically no one in Sacramento believes that a Republican can beat Gov. Jerry Brown in November. But GOP big shots think it is very important which Republican loses to Brown, 76, in November – former Treasury official Neel Kashkari or Assemblyman Tim Donnelly of Twin Peaks (San Bernardino County).


Jerry Brown
(Incumbent, Democrat   ∇  )
Headed for his fourth term, walking just right of the line between the corporate and activist wings of the party. Your perception may vary. Seek immediate help if you start seeing his aura. He will win this primary. The only real question here is who will come in second.

Neel Kashkari
(Businessman, Republican)
If his last name was only Smith or Jones, he’d have a shot at using this contest to position himself for some opportunity down the road. He’s the “reasonable” Republican in this race, even if his TV commercials depict him swinging an axe at a toy train. Although Kashkari was born in the Midwest and served in the Bush administration, he’s an Indian (the sub-continent)-American and a Hindu to boot, which makes him one of “those people” in Tea Party parlance. Polls last month showed Kashkari trailing a convicted sex offender.

Tim Donnelly
(Assemblyman, TeaPublican)
A certifiable right-wing nutjob. Former Minuteman leader, gun nut and purveyor of Tea Party conspiracy theories. Busted for trying to smuggle (he forgot) a gun onto a commercial airliner. He was the clear favorite at the March 2014 GOP convention. I think it would be great if Donnelly “won” (came in second) as it would likely suppress Republican voter turnout in November. And he’s not a racist.

Glenn Champ
(Business Owner, Republican)
He argues that his ten years in state prison following his conviction for intent to commit rape, assault, and voluntary manslaughter gives him the necessary experience to deal with politicians.  I guess his arrest for loitering to solicit a prostitute qualifies him to deal with lobbyists. His no contest plea in a voluntary manslaughter case after running into a man with his car will prove he can be tough on opponents. Seriously, this guy is running around the state posing for pictures with a bible in his hand saying he’s found Jesus. And he’s polling in second place behind Tim Donnelly.

The Rest of the Pack

Luis Rodriguez
(Author/Community, Green Party ♦ Endorsed)


Cindy Sheehan
(Anti-War Activist, Peace and Freedom)
http://www.cindy2014.org  (Yes, she’s That Cindy Sheehan)

Akinyemi Agbede
(Doctoral student, Democrat)


Alama Marie Winston
(Project Funding CEO, Republican)

Andrew Blount*
(Mayor of Laguna Hills, Republican)
www.andrewblount.com *Has withdrawn from the race, but is still on ballot

Bo Ambrozewicz
(Small Business Owner, No Party Preference)


Janel Buycks
(Minister/Business Owner, N0 Party Preference)

Joe Leicht
(Golf course operator, None)

Rakesh Kumar Christian
(Small Business Owner, None)

Richard Aguirre
(Real Estate Investor, Republican)

http://aguirreforgovernor.com (Yes, he’s Mike Aguirre’s brother nephew and OB resident. The GOP preference is what it says on the ballot)

Robert Newman
(Psychologist, No Party Preference)

Lieutenant Governor

Say What?  It’s a cushy job. Generally treated as a stepping stone in political careers.

From Ballotpedia
The Lieutenant Governor of California is an elected constitutional officer, the second ranking officer of the executive branch, and the first person in line to succeed the Governor of California. The lieutenant governor is popularly elected every four years and is limited to two terms.

piechart-of-procrastination-7Gavin Newsom
(Incumbent, Democrat  ♣ )
Former San Francisco Mayor, generally considered to be one of the rising stars in the Democratic Party. He runs a bit left of Gov. Brown on issues. Will win, big.

Ron Nehring
(Small Businessman/ Former California GOP Chair, Republican)

Via the San Francisco Chronicle:
Democratic strategist Sean Clegg, who advises Newsom, issued a statement on the announcement: “Ron Nehring has a curious resume for statewide office. He won zero statewide elections as Republican Chair while steering his party to the outer margins of irrelevancy with out-of-step positions on issues like marriage equality.”

Eric Korevaar
(Scientist/ Small Businessman, Democrat)

David Fennell
(Entrepreneur, Republican)

George Yang –
(Software Developer, Republican)

Jena Goodman
(Student, Green Party)

Amos Johnson
(Security Guard, Peace and Freedom)

Alan Reynolds
(City Commissioner/Engineer, Americans Elect/Reform Party)

Attorney General

Say what? Don’t let your eyes glaze over yet, the AG’s race is interesting & fun!

Via Ballotpedia:
The Attorney General of California is the chief law officer of California and the state’s primary legal counsel. The attorney general “[sees] that the laws of the State are uniformly and adequately enforced” and prosecutes violations of state law through the California Department of Justice, which he oversees.

Kamala Harris
(Incumbent, Democrat  ♣  )
Another rising star in the Democratic Party, who’s proven time and again she knows what’s expected of her if she wants to get ahead. For instance, she endorsed Bonnie Dumanis, ugh. Considering the rest of this pack, she’s an obvious shoo-in.

Phil Wyman
(Former State Senator/Attorney, Republican)

Via the Fresno Bee:
He proposed that state lawmakers who are found guilty of crimes that endanger the lives of others should face public execution by hanging, firing squad or lethal injection as a deterrent to others.

Orly Taitz
(Attorney/ 2012 U.S. Senate candidate, None)
The “Birther Queen”, who takes time out from her various careers as a lawyer, dentist and real estate agent to repeatedly file losing lawsuits challenging Barack Obama’s right to be president.. Taitz’s says that as attorney general she would prosecute state officials who ignored evidence that Obama fabricated his birth certificate. Who says politics has to be boring?

Ronald Gold
(Retired State Prosecutor/Attorney, Republican)

John Haggerty
(Attorney, Republican)

David King
(Attorney/Small Businessman, Republican)
http://www.davidking4attorneygeneral.com/ (He is also a former San Diego deputy city attorney)

Jonathan Jaech
(Attorney, Libertarian)
http://www.jaech.info/  (Best website avatar)


Say what?

Via Ballotpedia
The treasurer is the state’s banker, directed to “receive and keep in the vaults of the State Treasury or deposit in banks or credit unions all moneys belonging to the state…”[5] He disburses funds to cover state expenditures based on warrants from the controller’s office, approves state bond issuances, and manages the state’s investments, including state employee pension funds.

procrastinationbbJohn Chiang
(California Controller, Democrat  ♣  )
As State Controller, he gained fame by having the audacity to actually enforce a constitutional requirement holding that legislators would not be paid if they failed to pass a balanced budget by June 15, 2011. Hissyfits ensued.

Greg Conlon
(Businessman/CPA, Republican )
He’s been running for various offices since 2002. Never won.

Ellen Brown
(Attorney/ Public Banking Author, Green Party  )
Here’s where it gets interesting. John Lawrence’s article here at SDFP explains her crusade to take public monies out of private institutions, saving taxpayers a bundle. Good idea, I think.

Secretary of State

Say What? Come on, Stay Focused! We’re almost done for today! Besides, this is the one office where a Republican has a snowball’s chance in hell of being elected.  California’s Secretary of State isn’t normally the most exciting office, but this year it’s shaping up to be the most interesting and important statewide race for the primary election.

(Make it through this and I’ll throw in cute cats photo- No fair peeking)

Via Ballotpedia:
The California Secretary of State is an elected state executive officer established by the California Constitution. He or she serves as the state’s chief election officer, keeps the state’s key documents including the constitution and Great Seal, and keeps the state archives. Additionally, the secretary of state registers businesses in the state, commissions notaries public and manages state ballot initiatives.


Derek Cressman
(Voting Rights Advocate, Democrat)
This is the guy who filed the complaint with the California Fair Political Practices Commission that revealed the dark and dirty money from the Koch Bros. (and others) flowing into state elections back in 2012. If you care about reversing the effects of the disastrous Citizens United decision, Derek is your man.

Alex Padilla
(State Senator, Democrat ♣)
A rising Latino star in the Democratic party, with more name recognition than most. A likely winner if Democrats vote down the ballot.

Pete Peterson
(Educator/Institute Director, Republican)
The one Republican on a statewide ticket with the best chance of winning. He led all candidates in early Field Polls.

Roy Allmond
(State Employee, Republican)
He’s literally been rubber-stamping slogans on dollar bills as a marketing technique.

Jeff Drobman
(Software developer, Democrat)
His thing is internet voting.

Dan Schnur
(Political Involvement Educator, None)
After functioning as a consultant to the GOP, Schnur switched his registration to independent in 2011. His campaign slogan is “Politics is too important to be left to the politicians”

David Scott Curtis
(Designer, Green Party )
He was previously the 2010 Green Party candidate for Governor of Nevada.

Leland Yee
(Ex-state Senator, BUSTED)
Yee remains on the ballot but is no longer an active candidate. Along with 25 others, he was busted via an FBI operation involving drugs, guns and arranging murder for hire. He coulda been a contender…

Tomorrow: Congressional and State Legislature Races, State and Local Ballot Propositions.

cute kittensCheck Out the SDFreePress Calendar

Thanks to the efforts of Brent Beltran, the San Diego Free Press now has an on-line calendar of events. You can see events in the arts, performances and political gatherings of every persuasion by clicking on the ‘Calendar’ Tab at the top of the page. To get your event listed, drop us a line:  events@sandiegofreepress.org

On This Day: 1963 – Bob Dylan walked out of dress rehearsals for “The Ed Sullivan Show” when CBS censors told him he could not perform “Talkin’ John Birch Paranoid Blues.”  1970 – Ernie Banks, of the Chicago Cubs, hit his 500th home run. 2003 – In Texas, fifty-nine Democratic lawmakers went into hiding over a dispute with Republicans over a congressional redistricting plan.

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I read the Daily Fishwrap(s) so you don’t have to… Catch “the Starting Line” Monday thru Friday right here at San Diego Free Press (dot) org. Send your hate mail and ideas to DougPorter@SanDiegoFreePress.Org    Check us out on Facebook and Twitter.


Doug Porter

Doug Porter was active in the early days of the alternative press in San Diego, contributing to the OB Liberator, the print version of the OB Rag, the San Diego Door, and the San Diego Street Journal. He went on to have a 35 year career in the Hospitality business and decided to go back into raising hell when he retired. He's won awards for 'Daily Reporting and Writing: Opinion/Editorial' from the Society of Professional Journalists in 2013, 2014 and 2015. Doug is a cancer survivor (sans vocal chords) and lives in North Park.
Subscribe to "The Starting Line" and get an email every time a new article is posted!


  1. avatar says

    It looks promising that Democrats will sweep the key positions making California one of the few states in the union worth living in. Now if we could only get a Democrat Mayor of San Diego. Maybe next time … Let’s get Ellen Brown elected and a Public Bank of California. We’ve had measures before the state Congress before which passed both the Assembly and the Senate only to be vetoed by Jerry Brown. They were put there by a San Diegan, Ben Huesos. Let’s get the good Gov. on board, get Ellen elected and go for it. California should lead the nation on a public bank that will keep taxpayer funds in state instead of sending them to the Wall Street casino. That means less taxes, cheaper college tuition and more public services. C’mon folks.

  2. avatarbob dorn says

    Gotta get Jerry Brown and Gavin Newsom and Kamala Harris down here to campaign for Barrio Logan. Maybe it can happen!

  3. avatarBrent Beltran says

    I won’t be voting for any Dems for statewide office and I never vote for the Repugs. I’m voting my conscience and going Green all the way. Especially for governor with Chicano literary giant Luis Rodriguez in the running. The Greens won’t win because the Dems have statewide elections on lockdown. But at least my vote will potentially help keep them on the ballot and my conscience will be clear. At the local level I’m pretty much stuck voting Dem but at least my councilman is part of the progressive wing.

  4. avatar says

    I like Jerry Brown for Governor; homegrown, handsome and highly intelligent Democrat Eric Korevaar for Lieutenant Governor; and that guy running for Secretary of State who wants to execute criminal politicians. (Just imagine how this would clear the field of terrible candidates!)

  5. avatar says

    You did not even contact Ron Gold’s campaign to get a statement from him or about his outstanding bio that puts him in the clear lead. He served 7 years as DEPUTY ATTORNEY GENERAL! The AG, according to the definition you quoted, which is fairly correct, requires impartiality. Ron Gold fervently defended both Governor Reagan and Governor Brown. How less partial can you get and how much more adequate? His primary issue is cleaning up corruption in our state government. Where are these outstanding statements about Ron Gold?

    • avatarDoug Porter says

      We didn’t contact any of the other campaigns, either.

      The articles are based on media and web presence–that’s the premise for the column as in the tag line “I read the Daily Fishwrap(s) so you don’t have to…” or the graphic at the top which says “I read the news today.”

      Frickin’ sore losers….

  6. avatar says

    But the fact is you didn’t read or you would have known about Ron Gold. Our campaign has been on TV, radio, Facebook, YouTube, our website, we are listed on the lists for candidates across the web AND we started our campaign before many of those you have listed with links. Perhaps you would offer an update to your site mentioning updated information you may have missed at the time or that has arisen since then?

    “Frickin’ sore losers….” <–What is this? It does not make any sense in context of our conversation.

    • avatarDoug Porter says

      Ron Gold – “clear lead”?
      **With nutcase Tim Donnelly (most likely) at the top of the GOP ticket in the fall and party registration at an all time low, just about anybody down-ballot is in trouble.
      **I actually did read about your guy and determined that beyond his website there wasn’t much else to say. After all, Google only shows a handful of entries, the KCRA story from Friday says Gold’s raised all of about $5K vs. Harris’ $3 million.
      **And anytime a surrogate for GOP candidate writes in to an obviously left-leaning (see the word ‘progressive’ in the masthead?) blog to complain about coverage, it’s obvious they have no clue.
      Ergo–> loser.
      Given my well-known political leanings you should be happy I didn’t say anything.

  7. avatar says

    my stand on legalization of marijuana, promoting enforcement of criminal action against those that commit elder abuse, targeting at state level of political corruption, and supporting the children of california versus the union bosses in the tenure case-all of which even by the field poll now has me at 37% and rising. sounds like you blew a lot of smoke, time to honestly check who can and will do the best job of attorney general