Second-highest number of contested state legislative primaries in California since 2014

California has 58 contested state legislative primaries this year. This is the second-highest number and percentage of contested primaries since 2014. 

All 58 contested primaries are top-two primaries where the top-two vote getters, regardless of party, advance to the general election. This number is down from 60 in 2022.

Twenty-seven incumbents face primary challenges, representing 41% of all incumbents running for re-election. This is lower than in 2022, 2020, and 2018 but higher than the 2016 and 2014 election cycles. 

Of the 27 incumbents in contested primaries, 22 are Democrats and five are Republicans.

Overall, 328 candidates — 191 Democrats, 123 Republicans, and 14 from minor parties — filed to run. All 80 House and 20 of 40 Senate seats are up for election.

Thirty-four of those seats are open, meaning no incumbents filed. This guarantees that at least 34% of seats up for election will be represented by newcomers next year.

California has had a Democratic trifecta since the party won control of the governorship in 2010. Democrats currently have a 62-18 majority in the House and a 32-8 majority in the Senate.

California’s state legislative primaries are scheduled for March 5, the first — along with Alabama, Arkansas, North Carolina, and Texas — statewide primary date of the 2024 state legislative election cycle.

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