California Assembly District 58
This fall, California’s lower legislative chamber will again be filling all 80 of its elected member positions.
Working conditions will depend on the partisan breakdown of all new hires. With the current composition of the Assembly—55 Democrats and 25 Republicans—Democrats are holding on to their two-thirds supermajority by only one seat. A supermajority in both the Assembly and Senate would allow Democrats, if united, to raise taxes, override vetoes, place constitutional amendments on the ballot, and largely ignore their Republican colleagues.
Job duties include:
- Spend months drafting, discussing, and haggling over bills that will affect the lives of all Californians
- Retain the option of waiting until the very last week of session before passing or dumping most of said bills in a flurry
- Spend months drafting, discussing, and haggling over resolutions that will affect the lives of virtually no Californians
- Help craft a multi-billion-dollar budget for the state
- Strive to represent the interests of 500,000 constituents, most of them strangers
Incumbent Party: Democratic
Democratic vs Republican Voter Registration: 35.7% D
Trump vs Clinton Margin, 2016: 50.3% Clinton
Margin of Victory in Last Election: 50.6%
Top Two Primary Applicants, June 2018: Cristina Garcia (28.9%), Mike Simpfenderfer (26.4%)
Democratic vs Republican Vote Share, June 2018: 47.3% D
Democratic Assemblywoman Cristina Garcia has held this seat since 2012, when she won in an upset against a fellow Democrat from an entrenched political dynasty in southeast Los Angeles County. She’s been an outspoken member of the Assembly, championing women’s issues and environmental justice, and gained prominence as the leader of the legislative women’s caucus. But she voluntarily went on a leave of absence in February, after a former legislative staffer accused her of groping and sexually harassing him. Though an Assembly investigation could not substantiate the most serious allegations, it found that she had violated the body’s sexual harassment policy by “commonly and pervasively” speaking vulgarly to her staff. Her Republican opponent, Mike Simpfenderfer, is a mortgage-broker who sits on the board of a nonprofit dedicated to helping survivors of sexual assault.