CAAPAC-supported candidates win key victories

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By SHANT APEKIAN

Republicans and Moderate Democrats – including numerous allies of the apartment industry — enjoyed major victories in California on Election Day, giving the California Apartment Association reason to celebrate.

During this election cycle, the California Apartment Association’s Political Action Committee spent roughly $2 million ensuring the election of candidates who will defend the interests of the multifamily housing industry.

Bolstered by CAAPAC’s political support, voter frustration with the status quo and record-low voter turnout, business-friendly candidates garnered vital wins.

Statewide, Gov. Brown easily secured a fourth term, and Democrats once again swept all the constitutional offices. In the Legislature, while Democrats will retain significant majorities in the Assembly and state Senate, Republicans won several competitive seats, averting another Democratic supermajority in both houses.

Bolstered by CAAPAC’s political support, voter frustration with the status quo and record-low voter turnout, business-friendly candidates garnered vital wins.

In the state Senate, CAAPAC-supported Republicans Janet Nguyen (Orange County) and Andy Vidak (Kern County) prevailed in their respective contests. Both seats were necessary to end the Democrat supermajority in the Senate. Also, in a major upset, CAAPAC succeeded in electing Moderate Democrat Richard Pan (Sacramento) to the Senate. His opponent, Assemblyman Roger Dickenson, had heavy support from trial attorneys and was a leading voice against the rental-housing industry.

In the Assembly, Republicans took advantage of low voter turnout and exceeded expectations by winning four seats held by Democrats. In addition, four moderate Assembly Democrats throughout the state defeated opponents in extremely competitive races. CAAPAC spent significant resources in many of these contests and played a key role in their outcomes.

At the local level as well, Election Day was largely successful for the rental housing industry. CAAPAC-backed Sam Liccardo, a San Jose city councilman, declared victory in his quest to become the city’s next mayor, narrowly defeating Supervisor Dave Cortese. CAA Tri-County led the independent expenditure effort against Cortese, who sought to pass a just-cause eviction ordinance and expand rent control.

Despite an aggressive campaign led by CAA, Antioch’s Measure O, which would force property owners to pay at least a $150 tax for each unit of multi-family housing, passed by a narrow margin. The proponents of Measure O had been campaigning for two years to impose this tax, and given the public safety problems that plague Antioch, the voters, many of whom do not own rental property, felt this additional revenue would help the city address its crime and blight challenges.

Down south, CAAPAC enjoyed a vital win in San Diego, where candidate Chris Cate secured his bid for City Council. Cate’s victory is critical to CAA as it will bolster Republican Mayor Kevin Faulconer’s pro-business vision for the city and provides the mayor with four key allies on the council. Had Cate’s opponent won, it would have established a powerful majority on the City Council capable of overriding any veto by the mayor.

CAAPAC’s successes would not have been possible without the dedication, commitment and contributions from each and every member of the Association.

Tagged: Contra CostaSan DiegoOrange CountyTri-County