A special election is being held on Aug. 31 for District 18 in the California State Assembly. Mia Bonta (D) and Janani Ramachandran (D) are running in the election. Bonta and Ramachandran advanced from the June 29 primary election after neither candidate received more than 50% of the vote. The winner of the special election will serve until December 2022.
This Alameda County-based Assembly seat became vacant after Rob Bonta (D) was appointed Attorney General of California by Gov. Gavin Newsom (D). He was confirmed by the state legislature on April 22. Bonta had represented District 18 since 2012 and was re-elected in 2020 with 88% of the vote.
Heading into the special election, Democrats have a 59-19 majority in the California State Assembly with one independent member and one vacancy. California has a Democratic state government trifecta. A trifecta exists when one political party simultaneously holds the governor’s office and majorities in both state legislative chambers.
As of August, 52 state legislative special elections have been scheduled for 2021 in 19 states. Between 2011 and 2020, an average of 75 special elections took place each year. California held 32 state legislative special elections from 2010 to 2020.