This year, Kern County residents will have their say on who holds various important positions. The deadline for submissions having passed, the pool of candidates is set for the governors’ primary on June 7.
This year, Governor Gavin Newsom is up for re-election after easily fending off a recall attempt in September 2021. The district attorney’s and sheriff’s offices will also be elected this year, along with some county supervisors and state legislators. and federal.
Candidates who obtain more than 50% of the vote in June will win their position immediately. But if no one wins a majority, the top two voters will qualify for November’s midterm elections.
The Kern County Elections Division released the full list of candidates who filed. The list remains unofficial and several candidates have qualifications that must be approved by the county council office before their names can be placed on the ballot.
The Secretary of State will release the official list of nominees on March 31.
Below is a look at some of the biggest local races that will appear on the ballot.
20th congressional district
Kevin McCarthy, R-Bakersfield, is seeking his ninth term, in an election that could prepare him to become Speaker of the House if Republicans take control of the House of Representatives after November. The powerful role, which sits just after vice president in the line of succession, is now held by Nancy Pelosi, D-San Francisco.
But he must again secure his seat in Congress, if he hopes to keep his dreams of president alive.
Three other candidates showed up to face him in June.
Fairfax elementary teacher Marisa Wood, a Democrat, hopes to appeal to struggling families and small businesses she says McCarthy ignored during her tenure.
Two other candidates, retired accountant James McAuley and engineer and economist James Davis – who is listed as James “The Deviant” Davis on the filing documents – do not have their party affiliation on the list of candidates provided by the Kern Electoral Division.
22nd congressional district
David Valadao, R-Hanford, will again try to hold on to his seat in his Democratic-leaning constituency. He will face Democrat Rudy Salas, who currently sits in the state Assembly.
The race is expected to be a showdown between Salas and Valadao, with Republicans and Democrats pushing to represent the region.
Other candidates include Fresno businessman Chris Mathys, Hanford salon owner Adam Medeiros, Elvin Alexander Valenzuela, libertarian Adam R. Holt and William Sheldon Cahill.
23rd congressional district
The 23rd Congressional District is almost entirely within San Bernardino County, but some areas in far eastern Kern are included in the district.
Candidates who have filed for Kern County office include Ben Dewell and James Davis.
Candidates who have shown up to run in San Bernardino County include incumbent Jay Obernolte, as well as Democrats Derek Marshall and Blanca Gomez.
12th State Senate District
The redistricting prompted State Sen. Shannon Grove, R-Bakersfield, to move from the 16th Senate District to the 12th. She is seeking a second term after serving in the National Assembly. The conservative senator was elected by her fellow Republican senators to serve as Minority Leader in 2019 before being replaced in the role in 2021.
Tulare County Democrat Susanne Gundy filed against Grove in the primary election.
16th State Senate District
A battle between Democratic heavyweights will take place in the newly formed district’s first election. The redistricting drastically altered the political boundaries of this Central Valley district which spans Kern, Kings, Tulare and Fresno counties.
State Sen. Melissa Hurtado, D-Sanger, had to provide an address in Bakersfield to qualify for the seat. She currently represents Senate District 14, but decided to switch districts over the showdown with fellow Democratic incumbent Anna Caballero, D-Salinas.
Hurtado will face former state deputy Nicole Parra, who announced her intention to run in the 16th district before Hurtado entered.
Other candidates include Pastor Gregory Tatum, Delano Mayor Bryan Osorio and Porterville Republican David Shepard.
32nd State Assembly District
Assemblyman Vince Fong, R-Bakersfield, is running unopposed for a fourth term.
35th State Assembly District
Kern County Supervisor Leticia Perez hopes to make the jump to state Assembly in the June primary. She was elected to three terms as supervisor, which were often spent facing off against four fellow conservatives on the board.
Bakersfield doctor Jasmeet Bains is running as a Democrat against Perez. She said she was running primarily to improve the state’s health care system.
2nd Supervisory District
Supervisor Zack Scrivner is seeking a fourth term this year. He represents South East Kern County and is currently Chairman of the Board.
He will face off against former Tehachapi police officer Pete Graff and Rosamond small business owner Kelly Carden.
3rd Supervisory District
One of the few races in Kern County without an incumbent, the race will determine who fills incumbent Supervisor Mike Maggard’s seat.
Former nonprofit director Louis Gill, who ran the Bakersfield Homeless Center for many years, has declared his candidacy for the Maggard seat.
Maggard’s chief of staff, Jeff Flores, who is also a Kern High School District trustee, is seeking to fill his boss’ seat.
Retired California Highway Patrol Cmdr. Brian Smith fills out the list of candidates vying for the 3rd Supervisory District.
Assistant Appraiser Laura Avila hires Chief Appraiser Todd Reeves.
Deputy Auditor Comptroller and County Clerk Aimee Espinoza will face off against businessman Mark McKenzie.
Incumbent Cynthia Zimmer is running unopposed.
Sheriff Donny Youngblood is running unopposed.
Holder Jordan Kaufman runs unopposed.
County Superintendent of Schools
Superintendent of Schools Mary Barlow ran unopposed.
The following judges are standing for election in 2022. Unless otherwise noted, judges are running unopposed.
Superior Court Judge Wendy Avila
Holder Bernard Barmann
Superior Court Justice J. Eric Bradshaw
Superior Court Judge Marcos Camacho
Assistant District Attorney Michael Caves
Superior Court Justice Judith Dulcich
Superior Court Justice Kenneth Green
Superior Court Justice Andrew Kendall
Civil Attorney T. Mark Smith
Holder Raymonda Burnham Marquez
Superior Court Judge Tiffany Organ-Bowles
Superior Court Judge Lisa Pacione
Superior Court Judge Elizabet Rodriguez
Superior Court Judge Bryan Stainfield
Superior Court Justice Jason Webster
Superior Court Justice David Wolf
Incumbent Ralph Wyatt is running against Assistant District Attorney William Schlaerth.