Hundreds of thousands vote for Left Unity, socialist candidates in California primary elections

The final results of California’s June 7 primary election show socialist Left Unity Slate candidates receiving hundreds of thousands of votes.

In a first, the Peace and Freedom Party and Green Party ran a joint Left Unity Slate for statewide offices,
with either a PFP or GP endorsed candidate running for each office, which resulted in both parties
receiving over 2% of the vote in several elections and thus retaining their ballot status. Laura Wells, GP candidate for Controller was the top vote-getter on the slate, receiving 3.8% or 258,053
votes, and 99,930 in Los Angeles.

A massively funded right-wing campaign ended with the recall of San Francisco progressive district
attorney, Chesa Boudin, by a vote of 55-45%. A key factor in the recall was low voter turnout, only 46%
of registered voters and 35% of those eligible cast ballots. Primary elections are generally characterized
by much lower participation that general elections, and low turnout always favors the wealthy and the
right-wing. (An article analyzing the consequences of Boudin’s recall will appear on Liberation in the
coming days.)

Two Party for Socialism and Liberation members and labor leaders in San Francisco were candidates of the Left Unity Slate created by the Peace and Freedom and Green Parties for the first time. Meghann Adams, PFP candidate for state Treasurer received 3.6%, 245,369 votes, statewide. Nathalie
Hrizi, PFP candidate for Insurance Commissioner against eight other candidates, received 2.8%, 190,414. Hrizi received 10.2% of the vote in her hometown and 6.4%, 93,231 in Los Angeles, by far the
state’s most populous county. Adams won 9.8% in San Francisco and 7.2%, 105.554 in Los Angeles.
In San Francisco, Adams and Hrizi received more votes than the Republican candidates, as did
Mohammed Arif, the PFP candidate for Lieutenant Governor, who received 8.4% in the city, and 2.7%
statewide. Adams and Arif placed second among San Francisco voters.

Liberation graphic

Renowned author, poet and activist Luis Rodriguez, GP candidate for Governor, won 1.8%, 124,672 votes and 4.2% in Los Angeles despite running against 27 other candidates. John Parker, PFP candidate for U.S. Senate, running against 25 others, received 1.5% or 105,477 votes in a race with 25 candidates.

Green Party candidates on the Left Unity slate for Attorney General, Dan Kapelovitz, and Secretary of
State, Gary Blenner also surpassed the 2% threshold. Running in a “non-partisan” race but endorsed by the Left Unity Slate, Marco Amaral won 8.7%, 547,3889 votes for state Superintendent of Public Instruction.

Due to the reactionary “top-two” scheme sold to California voters on the false promise of “wider democracy,” none of the Left Unity Slate candidates will appear on the ballot in the November general
election. In every statewide race, voters will only get to choose between Democratic and Republican
candidates. As in other recent elections, in some races “top-two” may both be Democrats. The four
ballot-qualified “third parties” in the state are completely shut out of the general election. Even write-in
votes are disqualified under “top-two.” But the aim of eliminating the Peace and Freedom, Green and
all independent parties from the ballot has not been achieved.

“Those who crafted the top-two primary scheme did so with the intention of freezing us out,” said Kevin Akin, Peace & Freedom Party state chair.

“Today, as a result of forming the Left Unity Slate, most of our statewide candidates received more than 2% of the vote, enough to ensure ballot status for both parties for another four years.” Some Left Unity Slate candidates performed notably better than this threshold and in some state locales garnered
over 10%.”

More than a million ballots from the June 7 primary election remain to be counted, but the outcome is
clear. The most widely watched contest in San Francisco was Prop. H, the recall of progressive District Attorney Chesa Boudin, which ended up passing by a margin of 55-45% in a year when the voter turnout was very low. Low turnout always favors the right wing, which was backed by $7 million in campaign
contributions to the recall campaign.

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