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Xavier Becerra.(AP Photo/Ben Margot)

AP

Good morning and happy Monday! Let’s get right into the news with the latest election update!

WHAT WE KNOW

The Associated Press has called the following races:

  • In Assembly District 36, incumbent Assemblyman Tom Lackey, R-Palmdale, has won with 55.1% of the vote, while Democrat Steve Fox has 44.9%
  • In Assembly District 68, incumbent Assemblyman Steven Choi, R-Irvine, has won with 53.1% of the vote, while Democrat Melissa Fox has 46.9%.
  • In Senate District 23 in San Bernardino County, Republican Rosilicie Ochoa-Bogh has won with 52.5% of the vote, while Democrat Abigail Medina has 47.5% of the vote.
  • In Senate District 29, Democratic challenger Josh Newman has won with 51.3% of the vote, while incumbent Sen. Ling Ling Chang, R-Diamond Bar, has 48.7%.
  • In Senate District 37, Democratic challenger Dave Min has won with 51.2% of the vote, while incumbent Sen. John Moorlach, R-Costa Mesa, has 48.8%.

WHAT WE DON’T KNOW

As of Sunday evening, the Associated Press had yet to call the following legislative race:

  • In Senate District 21, incumbent Sen. Scott Wilk, R-Santa Clarita, is up with 50.8%, while Democratic challenger Kipp Mueller has 49.2% of the vote so far.

BECERRA WEIGHS IN ON TOBACCO BAN LAWSUIT

If you’ll recall, the tobacco industry is suing to put a stop to SB 793, the law to ban the sale of flavored tobacco products (with several exceptions) in the state.

In the latest development in that case, Attorney General Xavier Becerra has weighed in on the lawsuit, filing a brief in defense of the ban. The lawsuit seeks a preliminary injunction to halt the law from going into effect in the new year.

“Every day, thousands of young Americans will smoke their first cigarette, starting down the path toward a life-long addiction to nicotine,” Becerra said in a statement. “Postponing enforcement of SB 793 would only serve to put our children’s health and safety at further risk. Tobacco companies have tried and failed to bring this sort of case before, and we believe they will fail again. We look forward to defending this important law in court.”

Becerra argued in his brief that the plaintiffs, including RJ Reynolds Tobacco Company and Philip Morris USA, have no likelihood of succeeding on the merits of their case.

“For that reason alone, plaintiffs’ motion for a preliminary injunction should be denied,” Becerra’s brief said.

YET MORE PRESSURE FOR NEWSOM’S SENATE PICK

When it comes to appointing a replacement for Vice President Elect Kamala Harris in the U.S. Senate, Gov. Gavin Newsom is, to put it mildly, under a bit of pressure.

“Appoint Secretary of State Alex Padilla to be the state’s first Latino U.S. senator,” urges the campaign arm of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus.

“Appoint a Black woman, such as Rep. Karen Bass or Rep. Barbara Lee,” says the California Legislative Black Caucus.

Now, the LGBTQ Victory Fund is calling for, you guessed it, an LGBTQ person to fill Harris’ vacating seat. The national organization recommends Senate President Pro Tempore Toni Atkins or Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia for the job.

“Governor Newsom is one of the strongest allies we have in elected office and consistently shows courage in his efforts to advance equality, so we are hopeful he will add to his legacy with an LGBTQ appointment. Both Sen. Atkins and Mayor Garcia represent communities too often denied political power – including women, immigrants and people of color – furthering the impact their appointment would make,” said Victory Fund President and CEO Annise Parker, former mayor of Houston. ”Not just in California but across the country, the LGBTQ community would celebrate an LGBTQ leader taking the position and we will stand by them with resources and support to ensure they succeed. We hold immense pride in the leadership of our current LGBTQ U.S. Senators and would be eager to rally behind an LGBTQ U.S. Senator from the largest state in the nation.”

The Victory Fund points out that the Senate has just two out LGBTQ members at the moment, Sens. Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona.

QUOTE OF THE DAY

“California left wing activist (Politico journalist Carla Marinucci) hates straight white men. Politico’s (Matthew Kaminski) is overseeing a website filled with partisan activists. This isn’t journalism.”

– Richard Grenell, President Donald Trump’s former director of national intelligence, via Twitter. The tweet was in response to Marinucci sharing a story about Gov. Gavin Newsom’s choice to replace Vice President-Elect Sen. Kamala Harris.

Best of the Bee:

  • Without Trump in the White House, what’s next for California Republicans? Via Lara Korte.

  • President Donald Trump acknowledged his defeat to President-elect Joe Biden for the first time on Sunday morning with the words “he won,” before quickly turning around and saying on Twitter he was not conceding the election, via Michael Wilner.

  • If you were planning to travel for Thanksgiving, the state of California is asking you not to do so. But if you must, the state Department of Public Health has issued a travel advisory urging travelers to the state to observe a 14-day self-quarantine upon arrival, via Andrew Sheeler.

Andrew Sheeler covers California’s unique political climate for the Sacramento Bee. He has covered crime and politics from Interior Alaska to North Dakota’s oil patch to the rugged coast of southern Oregon. He attended the University of Alaska Fairbanks.

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