JoinCalifornia: Election History for the State of California

Information Home Advanced Search Elected Offices Redistricting Elections by Decade 2016 Election
Elected Officials Longest Service Shortest Service Recalls
Political Parties Democratic Republican Am. Independent Green Libertarian Peace & Freedom No Party Preference
Legislator Databases Women in CA Politics

[search tips] [advanced search]

Searching tips

  • Enter a candidate's name to find a candidate
  • Enter the name of a political party to find the party and all candidates
  • Enter a date to find an election
  • Enter a year to find all elections within that year

UNCONTESTED CANDIDATES

Historic Uncontested Candidates (1946-2008)
In the last sixty years, there have been 484 unopposed candidates. The 1950 and 1952 elections saw the most uncontested candidates (more than 150 in those two years alone). The Democrats have had more unchallenged candidates, with 260 (opposed to 209 uncontested Republicans). A large majority of the races were for Assembly seats (321 races), while 99 were State Senate races, 51 were members of Congress, and 12 members of the Board of Equalization.

Frequently Unopposed Candidates
Several candidates have run unopposed on multiple occasions. Lloyd W. Lowrey holds the record, having run unopposed eight times. Because of term limits and the large number of active political parties, it is highly unlikely that this record will ever be broken.  Ralph M. Brown and Gus Hawkins were elected unopposed seven times. Donald L. Grunsky and William Byron Rumford were elected unopposed six times. George A. Clarke, Glenn E. Coolidge, John F. Shelley and Randolph Collier were elected unopposed five times. Eleven Candidates were elected unopposed four times: Carley V. Porter, Clair Engle, Francis C. Lindsay, Francis Dunn Jr., George R. Reilly, Hugh M. Burns, Hugh P. Donnelly, Marvin Sherwin, Richard H. McCollister, Vincent Thomas, and Laughlin E. Waters.

 

CANDIDATES WITH THE HIGHEST VOTE COUNTS
Another way to evaluate the relative successes of candidates is to compare the total vote counts they receive. The following is a list of the most popular candidates from each of four categories (the statewide category excludes US Senate and the Presidential candidates).

 

  Candidate Election Vote Count
For State Senate
Since 2010
Since 2000
Mark Leno 2012 General
2008 General
303,241 votes
326,755 votes
Since 1980 Mark Leno 2008 General 326,755 votes
Since 1950 Richard Richards 1958 General 1,409,469 votes
Since 1900 Richard Richards 1958 General 1,409,469 votes
The Record Richard Richards 1958 General 1,409,469 votes
For State Assembly
Since 2010
Since 2000
Nancy Skinner
Ted Gaines
2012 General
2008 General
164,929 votes
166,736 votes
Since 1980 Ted Gaines 2008 General 166,736 votes
Since 1950 Ted Gaines 2008 General 166,736 votes
Since 1900 Ted Gaines 2008 General 166,736 votes
The Record Ted Gaines 2008 General 166,736 votes
For Congress
Since 2010
Since 2000
Nancy Pelosi
2012 General 253,709 votes
Since 1980 Clair W. Burgener 1980 General 299,037 votes
Since 1950 Clair W. Burgener 1980 General 299,037 votes
Since 1900 Clair W. Burgener 1980 General 299,037 votes
The Record Clair W. Burgener 1980 General 299,037 votes
For (Non-Federal) Statewide Offices
Since 2010
Since 2000
Bill Lockyer
Treasurer (2010) 5,433,508 votes
Since 1980 Jesse Unruh Treasurer (1986) 5,589,633 votes
Since 1950 Jesse Unruh Treasurer (1986) 5,589,633 votes
Since 1900 Jesse Unruh Treasurer (1986) 5,589,633 votes
The Record Jesse Unruh Treasurer (1986) 5,589,633 votes

 

CANDIDATES WITH THE LOWEST VOTE COUNTS
It can also be interesting to see what the lowest votre requirements for a certain office might be. It takes a combination of factors to reach some of these numbers, as in the case of Assemblyman Fuentes, who got just over 50% of the votes in an election with low turn-out (10.24%) in an Assembly district with the second lowest voter registration rates in the state (only AD-46 had fewer voters).

 

  Candidate Election Vote Count
For State Senate
Since 2010
Since 2000
Isadore Hall III
2014 Special 17,951 votes
Since 1980 Isadore Hall III 2014 Special 17,951 votes
Since 1950 Charles Brown 1942 General 2,509 votes
Since 1900 Charles Brown 1942 General 2,509 votes
The Record Alexander Hope 1849 General 57 votes
For State Assembly
Since 2010
Since 2000
Freddie Rodriguez
Felipe Fuentes
2013 Special
2007 Special
7,630 votes
5,819 votes
Since 1980 Denise Ducheny 1994 Special 5,150 votes
Since 1950 George A. Willson 1958 Special 905 votes
Since 1900 James Slaven 1904 General 804 votes
The Record Incomplete data Incomplete data Incomplete data
For Congress*
Since 2010
Since 2000
Lucille Roybal-Allard
Judy Chu

2014 General
2009 Special
30,208 votes
15,238 votes
Since 1980 Juanita Millender-McDonald 1996 Special 13,868 votes
Since 1950 Juanita Millender-McDonald 1996 Special 13,868 votes
Since 1900 Julius Kahn 1906 General 5,678 votes
The Record Milton S. Latham 1854 General 1,843 votes
For (Non-Federal) Statewide Offices
Since 2010
Since 2000
Tom Torlakson
Steve Westly
Superintendent of Public Instruction (2014)
Controller (2002)
3,167,212 votes
3,157,757 votes
Since 1980 Bill Honig Supt. of Public Instruction (1990) 2,554,143 votes
Since 1950 Roy E. Simpson Supt. of Public Instruction (1954) 1,524,142 votes
Since 1900 Horace A. Johnson Controller (1918) 103,039 votes
The Record John G. Marvin Supt. of Public Instruction (1850) 3,823 votes