Analysis / Perspective

By The Numbers: Long Beach Decided State Senate District Initial Election...So What Now? is reader and advertiser supported. Support independent news in LB similar to the way people support NPR and PBS stations. We're not non-profit so it's not tax deductible but $49.95 (less than an annual dollar a week) helps keep us online.
(Mar. 30, 2019, 7:45 p.m.) -- An examination of election data shows that Long Beach effectively decided the March 26 33rd district state Senate election.

By the numbers (source: L.A. County Registrar/Recorder data accessed March 29, 6:00 p.m.)::

Long Beach accounted for more than half the votes in all the other S.E. L.A. County cities combined: 17,322 votes cast in Long Beach compared to 16,858 from all of the district's smaller cities. Long Beach votes basically determined the outcome in March and could clearly do so in June.

>Contrary to numbers reported elsewhere, LB voter turnout (ballots cast vs. registered voters) was nearly 9% (8.8%) and 9.5% in Lakewood and 10.2% in Signal Hill. That's low but not minuscule compared to 11% in LB's April 2018 election that brought Robert Garcia a second term as Mayor and 0% voting to re-elect Councilwoman Lena Gonzalez (since there was no 1st district 2018 Council election because no one stepped forward to challenge her.)

[Scroll down for further.]

In the March 26, 2019 state Senate race (top 7 of 11 ballot-listed candidates):

CandidateHometown votesLB votesDistrictwide votes
LB Councilwoman Lena Gonzalez6,7706,77010,552
Cudahy Councilman Jack Guerrero592,9764,741
Bell Councilman Ali Saleh4801,2933,111
Bell Vice Mayor Ana Marie Quintana3001,0542,884
Lynwood Mayor Jose Solache8034492,486
South Gate Councilwoman Denise Diaz6304782,310
Martha Flores Gibson1,3651,3652,175

So what might these numbers portend for the June 4th runoff between Gonzalez and Guerrero?

In the current voter climate, a moneyed, mechanical, mercenary campaign with supposedly influential incumbents' endorsements doesn't necessarily deliver an overwhelming win. If it did, Councilwoman Gonzalez would today be Senator-elect Gonzalez and she's not. A few months ago, the money-plus-endorsements formula failed at the opposite end of the political spectrum in NYC when former bartender Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez defeated an incumbent favored by Dem party operatives.

And it just failed again in S.E. L.A. County where Jack Guerrero, a Harvard-Stanford degreed CPA from an immigrant family, elected to the City Council in working class Cudahy, advanced to a runoff with nearly no campaign contributions in a Dem majority registered voter district offering an unflinching alternative to Dem party orthodoxies.

He's now pitted against a major-moneyed Long Beach Council incumbent who's velcro'd herself to Dem party Sacramento stances and whose voting record as a Long Beach City Council incumbent has to date not faced a meaningful election challenge.



If the parties were reversed, and a Republican candidate had the oil/corporate/developer resources and a Democrat without the resources and registered voter advantages had done what Guerrero just did, it would make headlines as a political upset. Whether Guerrero can now convert his March 26 runoff into a bigger June upset depends in large part on Long Beach voters.

The four top-vote-drawing Dem also-rans (Saleh, Quintana, Solache and Diaz) drew 3,274 collectively in Long Beach. If all of the LB votes they drew had gone to Gonzalez, she would have had 13,826 votes, which still would have left her with only 40.4% of the vote. And those 3,274 votes were Long Beach votes specifically against Gonzalez, so it's not clear to what extent she can expect to get them now.

In addition, there were 2,213 "hometown" votes for the top four vote drawing smaller city Dems and it's not clear what percentage of them will feel sufficiently motivated to turn out and vote in the runoff, so Gonzalez can't count on all of them either.

At the same time, the roughly 1,365 votes that Republican Flores Gibson drew in Long Beach are very likely to go to Guerrero.

We believe that Guerrero has an uphill battle but at this point we don't believe Gonzalez has a lock on a June 4th win...and the outcome may depend in large part on how Long Beach votes.


It's predictable that the Gonzalez campaign may try to tie Guerrero to President Trump, paint him as a fearsome GOP gargoyle and try to avoid discussing a number of Gonzalez's Long Beach Council votes. But it's Gonzalez who's created the exposure by tying herself to Sacramento stances that Guerrero opposes. In addition, a number of votes she cast as a LB Council incumbent were genuinely unpopular or flatly opposed by a number of grassroots Dems and independents in Long Beach. To date, no candidate has raised these Long Beach issues in the campaign that might move Democrat and independent votes in Long Beach.

In addition, Guerrero's views and the manner in which he conducted himself in two candidate fora are closer to an intellectually-based conservative on economic and fiscal matters than crony-capitalist Republicans and their mirror-image corporate-coddling Democrats. We saw a number of people nodding their heads in agreement as Guerrero delivered a stem-winding opening and fielded questions at a Feb. 27 candidate forum in Long Beach. To hear salient portions, click here.



Councilwoman Gonzalez wasn't present at the Feb. 27 candidate forum; her campaign later told us her candidate absence resulted from her City presence in Vancouver, Canada with a City of LB trade promotion/business development delegation. Accordingly, the next day (Feb. 28), offered Gonzalez the opportunity to answer by email the questions posed to Guerrero. We're still waiting for her answers on those questions, which we've since expanded to others.

We believe Long Beach voters of varying political strips (Dems, Repubs and indies) are waiting for her answers. and his, on a number of Long Beach impacting matters that may decide how Long Beach voters vote which may decide the outcome of the state Senate race.

Support really independent news in Long Beach. No one in's ownership, reporting or editorial decision-making has ties to incumbent Long Beach officials, development interests, advocacy groups or other special interests; or is seeking or receiving benefits of City development-related decisions; or holds a City Hall appointive position; or has contributed sums to political campaigns for Long Beach incumbents or challengers. isn't part of an out of town corporate cluster and no one its ownership, editorial or publishing decisionmaking has been part of the governing board of any City government body or other entity on whose policies we report. is reader and advertiser supported. You can help keep really independent news in LB similar to the way people support NPR and PBS stations. We're not non-profit so it's not tax deductible but $49.95 (less than an annual dollar a week) helps keep us online.

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