Best’s News & Research Service - June 22, 2022 12:48 PM (EDT)
Levine Climbs Into Second in the California Insurance Commissioner Primary
SACRAMENTO, Calif. //BestWire// - Assemblyman Marc Levine has climbed into second place in the ongoing counting of primary ballots in the race to get on the November ballot in California.
Records from the California Secretary of State’s office show Levine has collected 1,171,080 votes, or 18.1% of total ballots cast, sending him ahead of the former second-place leader, Robert Howell, by a margin of just under 10,000 votes.
Vote counting is ongoing, and totals will change until the state certifies the results July 15, the office said.
The second-place finisher will battle Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara, who is leading the field of nine candidates with 36.2% of the vote thus far, virtually assuring him of being on the ballot in November (BestWire, June 8, 2022).
Under California election law, all candidates for voter-nominated offices are listed on one ballot and only the top two in the primary election — regardless of party preference — move on to the general election.
If the current positions hold, the insurance commissioner’s race would be between two Democrats, Levine and Lara.
Howell, a Silicon Valley businessman, is a Republican. His lead of a full percentage point over Levine has evaporated since the June 7 vote.
The day after the election, Levine sounded an optimistic note about the race.
“If we secure that second place spot, we are very optimistic about our prospects in the fall, and look forward to consolidating support behind our campaign, continuing to make the case for change, and winning a victory for California consumers in November,” he said on Twitter.
Levine hammered Lara during the campaign for taking donations from insurers, calling his actions “disqualifying” and threatening public faith in the commissioner’s office. Lara also has socialized and held closed-door meetings with industry officials, said Levine, who represents a Bay Area district.
Lara said he won by running a positive campaign that focused on his efforts on behalf of consumers during a period of unprecedented wildfires and the COVID-19 pandemic.
(By Timothy Darragh, associate editor, BestWeek: Timothy.Darragh@ambest.com)