Early election results were pouring in Tuesday night for competitive state legislative races around the Bay Area, including some contests in the East Bay and South Bay in which millions have been spent supporting or opposing candidates.
In all state legislative seat races, the top two vote-getters will advance to a runoff in the November general election.
In state Senate District 10, which includes part of both Santa Clara County and Alameda County, Fremont Mayor Lily Mei was well ahead of Hayward Councilmember Aisha Wahab in the crowded race. The district includes about 1 million people across large swaths of the East Bay and South Bay, including all of Hayward, Fremont, Union City, Newark, Sunnyvale and Santa Clara, as well as a small portion of northeast San Jose. The race is for a seat that will be open after current Sen. Bob Wieckowski terms out at the end of the year.
Church pastor Paul Pimentel, the lone Republican in the race, was in third place. Attorney Jamal Khan, software engineer Raymond Liu and longtime Santa Clara Unified School District board member Jim Canova were all following far behind.
After posting initial results, the Santa Clara County registrar’s office estimated that it had counted about 45% of the total ballots it expects to receive in this election, including mail-in ballots and those cast in person. Only about 16% of eligible voters in the county had cast votes so far. In Alameda County, about 9% of eligible voters had cast votes. The Alameda County registrar’s office did not provide an estimate of how many total votes it expected to receive.
Across some similar territory in Milpitas, Fremont, Newark and parts of San Jose, first-term progressive Assemblymember Alex Lee appeared to be holding his own against stiff competition.
He held a more than two-to-one lead in votes ahead of Republican Bob Brunton, a perennial Assembly candidate, and Kansen Chu — the former Assemblymember who held Lee’s seat before him. Fremont Councilmember Teresa Keng was in a distant fourth place, and former San Jose councilmember Lan Diep was bringing up the rear.
In Alameda County, labor union treasurer Liz Ortega was leading Dublin Councilmember Shawn Kumagai for the Assembly District 20 seat. Current Assemblyman Bill Quirk will be stepping down at the end of this year, leaving the seat open. Jennifer Esteen, a registered nurse and former labor organizer, was in third place, while retired computer scientist Joseph Grcar, the only Republican candidate, was in last place.
On the Peninsula, San Mateo Vice Mayor Diane Papan held a commanding lead among a field of seven in Assembly District 21, which encompasses eastern San Mateo County and includes the cities of Belmont, Burlingame, East Palo Alto, Foster City, Millbrae, Redwood City , San Bruno, San Carlos, San Mateo and portions of South San Francisco.
Papan, the daughter of former Assembly Speaker Lou Papan, had earned more than double the number of votes of Republican business owner Mark Gilham, and more than three times the votes of Redwood City Mayor Giselle Hale.
South San Francisco City Councilmember James Coleman was well behind in fourth. Attorney and tenant advocate Alison Madden, San Mateo County Community College District Trustee Maurice Goodman, and Green Party candidate Tania Sole rounded out the bottom of the race.