Southland residents and voters across the state will head to the polls Tuesday to weigh in on state, federal and local races, although most attention is being paid on the contest for governor, with former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa hoping to fight his way into a November runoff.
Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom is widely expected to finish atop a 27-candidate field in the race for governor. Under the state’s primary system, the top two finishers will advance to the November general election, so the campaign has largely become a battle for second place.
Villaraigosa had been seen as a strong contender to land in second and square off with Newsom in November, but recent polls have shown him trailing Republican businessman John Cox, who has been endorsed by President Donald Trump.
Voters will also weigh in on other statewide posts, including attorney general, secretary of state, superintendent of public instruction, lieutenant governor, controller, treasurer and insurance commissioner.
Several congressional races in Southern California are also gaining national attention as Democrats look to cut into a Republican majority in Washington, D.C. Among the closely watched contests are the races to replace retiring Rep. Ed Royce, R-Fullerton, and Darrell Issa, R-Vista, in a district that straddles Orange and San Diego counties.
Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, R-Huntington Beach, is also facing a tough re-election campaign, although his top competitor could turn out to be another Republican, Scott Baugh.
Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-California, is also seeking re-election, and she’ll likely wind up facing state Sen. Kevin de Leon, D-Los Angeles, in the November runoff.
A host of state Assembly and Senate races are also on the ballot, along with local elections in many Southland cities.
Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.