California Senate District 18
The Golden State’s upper legislative chamber will be filling 20 of its 40 total positions.
Working conditions will depend on the partisan breakdown of all new hires. With the current composition of the Senate—26 Democrats and 14 Republicans—Democrats are one position short of holding a supermajority. 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 give them the option to 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 1 million constituents, most of them strangers
Incumbent Party: Democratic
Democratic vs Republican Voter Registration: 38.5% D
Trump vs Clinton Margin, 2016: 57.1% Clinton
Margin of Victory in Last Election: 40.4%
Top Two Primary Applicants, June 2018: Bob Hertzberg (66.3%), Rudy Melendez (11.5%)
Democratic vs Republican Vote Share, June 2018: 55% D
During his long career in politics, Democratic Sen. Bob Hertzberg became known as “Hugsberg” because of his penchant for effusive bear hugs. But in the fallout of the #MeToo movement, his hugging came under new scrutiny. A Senate investigation of several complaints found that Hertzberg’s hugs made some people uncomfortable but were not sexual in nature. In the end, legislative leaders wrote Hertzberg a letter of reprimand and instructed him not to initiate hugs. Hertzberg is an accomplished politician, lawyer and entrepreneur who is known for carrying ambitious bills, such as his proposals to overhaul California’s tax structure (by placing a tax on services) and replace the cash bail system with a risk-assessment model. Hertzberg won two-thirds of the vote in June and ended the summer with more than $150,000 in his campaign account. Republican Rudy Melendez won a little over 10 percent of the vote, narrowly edging out the two other candidates, and has reported no fundraising to date.