Voting signs and an American flag temporarily decorate the walls at a polling location. Photo by Stephanie Rivera.
Voting signs and an American flag temporarily decorate the walls at a polling location. Photo by Stephanie Rivera.

In addition to helping pick a governor, Southland voters joined their counterparts across California Tuesday to fill other top state offices and decide on a series of propositions.

Democrat Gavin Newsom was leading in his bid to retain his post as lieutenant governor. He is being challenged by Republican businessman Ron Nehring.

Sen. Alex Padilla, D-Los Angeles, and Republican Pete Peterson were in a neck-and-neck race for secretary of state, while Republican Fresno Mayor Ashley Swearengin is battling Betty Yee, a member of the state Board of Equalization, were in an equally close race for state controller.

Controller John Chiang, a Democrat, had a strong early lead in his bid to become state Treasurer, in the face of a challenge from Republican businessman Greg Conlon. Democratic state Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones was leading in his bid for re-election against Republican insurance agent Ted Gaines.

Kamala Harris is likely to win re-election as attorney general, and she had an early lead over Republican attorney Ronald Gold.

Meanwhile, incumbent Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson had an early lead over schools executive Marshall Tuck.

Voters also defeated Proposition 45, which would have required the state Insurance Commissioner to approve changes in small group insurance rates, affecting companies with less than 50 employees; and rejected Proposition 48, which would have ratified gaming compacts between the state and the North Fork Rancheria of Mono Indians and the Wiyot Tribe for a casino in the San Joaquin Valley. Opponents said the compacts fly in the face of long-held guarantees that casinos would be restricted to tribal lands.

City News Service

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