A number of Japanese Americans were among the candidates in Tuesday’s elections in California. Following are some of the results as of Wednesday afternoon.
U.S. House of Representatives
6th Congressional District (Sacramento): Incumbent Doris Matsui (D) received 107,316 votes (75.9%) to Republican challenger Chris Bish’s 34,150 (24.1%). Matsui has been in office since 2005.
“Thank you to everyone for your continued support as I continue to work for Sacramento — ensuring your voices are heard in Washington, D.C.,” Matsui said.
Before the election, she told KCRA that flood protection is a top priority. “That’s continued to be a focus of mine. I got $2 billion to make sure the levees are improved along the American and also the Sacramento. But not only that, but to make sure that we make it more sustainable.”
41st Congressional District (Riverside): Incumbent Mark Takano (D) received 67,834 votes (64.2%) to Republican challenger Aja Smith’s 37,856 (35.8%). Takano has been in office since 2013.
“It is an honor and privilege to serve the people of California’s 41st District in the United States House of Representatives,” Takano said. “Thank you for once again putting your faith in me. Our work continues.”
Prior to the election, he urged his constituents to vote “in the most consequential election of our lifetimes. The stakes are too high to sit this one out — so please don’t.”
24th Assembly District (Los Altos): Republican challenger Peter Ohtaki lost to Democratic incumbent Marc Berman, 36,738 votes (24.4%) to 114,011 (75.6%). Ohtaki served on the Menlo Park City Council from 2010 to 2018 and was mayor in 2013 and 2018.
During the campaign, Ohtaki said, “California is now a one-party state, no longer a healthy democracy generating bipartisan solutions to problems. Tell Sacramento that bipartisan solutions are needed now by voting for Peter Ohtaki for State Assembly, a voice of reason.”
He also said, “I’m running to restore opportunity, freedom, and innovation to the Golden State, and am uniquely qualified to get us through COVID. We need to get our kids back into school safely, and reopen small businesses before job losses are permanent!”
66th Assembly District (Torrance): Democratic incumbent Al Muratsuchi received 121,050 votes (63.60%) to Republican challenger Arthur Schaper’s 69,291 (36.40%). Muratsuchi was first elected in 2012 and lost his bid for re-election in 2014. He was elected again in 2016 and has served ever since.
“As we all anxiously wait to see what happens with our country, I want to thank the South Bay and all my supporters for giving me the privilege to continue to serve as your state representative for another term,” Muratsuchi said.
“This privilege is one that I do not take lightly, especially during this pandemic when so many people are hurting. The decisions we make in the California Legislature affect the lives of 40 million people. We may not always agree, but know that I will do my best and work hard to fight for the South Bay and for a better country and a better world.”
Alhambra City Council: Jeff Koji Maloney, the incumbent in District 3, received 14,753 votes (66.48%) to challenger Chris Olson’s 7,438 (33.52%). Maloney was first elected in 2016. He is also chief staff counsel for the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy.
“Just like everywhere else in the country, every single vote must be counted, but I am feeling very good about the results,” Maloney said Tuesday. “Thanks to my fellow Alhambra residents for your support and confidence. It’s an honor to represent all of you!”
El Camino Community College District Board: Trisha Murakawa, a candidate in Trustee Area No. 3, received 22,554 votes (54.62%), ahead of Siannah Collado Boutte (14,769 or 35.77%) and Peter Elhamey Aziz (3,967 or 9.61%). A Redondo Beach resident, Murakawa has served on four city commissions under five mayors over a span of 24 years.
The seat is currently held by Bill Beverly, who is retiring after three decades.
“Not sure what the final outcome will be … but I want to thank everyone who supported me, voted for me, invested in me, endorsed me and believed in me. Thank you,” Murakawa said after the polls closed.
“I did not run for me. At my age, I don’t need to start a political career. I ran to help take El Camino College to its next level of success, and after some thought during the campaign, I realize that I also ran to be a role model to little girls and women. I want the world to know that women are leaders, we are important, we are worthy and we are powerful.
“I never thought I would have to put myself ‘out there’ and be a role model, but after this experience, I realize the seriousness and importance of being a role model to little girls and I realize there is a great need. I want little girls to see women in positions of importance and positions of power and I want them to know this is normal.
“Thank you to all of you — you know who you are — who helped me do this. Tomorrow — win or lose — thank you, especially to all you badass women who helped me — thank you. We made progress.”
Walnut Valley Water District: Kevin Hayakawa, a candidate in Division 4, received 4,671 votes (75.08%) to Alfred Sinclare’s 1,550 (24.92%).
“The people of Rowland Heights and Diamond Bar have spoken loud and clear tonight — representation matters, no matter how small the level of government,” said Hayakawa. “We are a diverse, minority-majority community that represents the future of this country.
“I’d like to thank Director Alfred Sinclare for his service as a U.S. Postal Service employee for three decades, as a substitute teacher for the Rowland Unified School District for two decades, and as our representative to the Walnut Valley Water District for these past three months.
“I’d also like to thank my family for enduring this journey with me, especially my dad. From leaving door hangers at thousands of households to hammering dozens of yard signs along Colima Road, they’ve always been there by my side.
“Thank you to my wonderful campaign volunteers, some of whom walked precincts in nearly 100-degree heat early this season … However, I will never forget who made this victory possible—and that person is you. You have shown that a 26-year-old can run a successful campaign from his childhood bedroom. That he could raise $7,000+ in grassroots donations. That ordinary people still have faith in our institutions.
“However, we are still in the middle of a pandemic. The job has only just begun, and there is a lot of work to do. I look forward to getting to work for the residents of Division 4.”
Water Replenishment District of Southern California: George Uraguchi finished second out of four candidates in Division 2 with 43,339 votes (20.63%) to incumbent Robert Katherman’s 113,671 (54.12%). Also running were Joe Macias (36,055 or 16.69%) and G. Rick Marshall (17,980 or 8.56%).
Division 2 includes El Segundo, Gardena, Hermosa Beach, Lawndale, Lomita, Manhattan Beach, Palos Verdes Estates, Rancho Palos Verdes, Redondo Beach, Rolling Hills, Rolling Hills Estates and Torrance, as well as parts of Los Angeles, including San Pedro and Wilmington.
During the campaign, Uraguchi said that he was running because of his kids. “I’d always tried to teach them things like: ‘Be the person who complains or be the person who does something.’ The lesson I was most proud of coaching their sports was this, ‘It’s always easy to look cool when things are going well… the true marker of character is how you behave faced with adversity and injustice. That is life — there are blown calls and there are just plain bad people. Deal with it.’
“If you vote for me, I promise to maintain those very same ideals throughout my term in office.”
He pledged to “fight for a transparent government that serves, not profits off, the public.”
San Francisco Board of Supervisors: In District 1, Veronica Shinzato finished fifth out of seven candidates with 1,009 votes (3.56%). Connie Chan was in first place with 10,611 (37.45%), followed by Marjan Philhour (9,822 or 34.66%), David E. Lee (4,851 or 17.12%), and Sherman D’Silva (1,218 or 4.3%). Also running were Amanda Inocencio (543 or 1.92%) and Andrew Majalya (239 or 0.84%).
The district is currently represented by Sandra Lee Fewer, who chose not to run for a second term.
A working single mom, immigrant and small business owner, Shinzato has spent two decade as a community and taxpayer advocate.
“Today, millions of our fellow Americans will be voting,” Shinzato said Tuesday. “But allow me to take this moment and say thank you. None of this would have been possible without you. You had my back. As supervisor, I will have yours. Every. Single. Day.
“This has been an amazing journey. When we first started this campaign together, we knew it wasn’t going to be easy. The political establishment counted us out early on. We were outraised 8 to 1 — and yet here we are: united and strong, all for a San Francisco that works for all.
“Throughout this campaign, I’ve met with so many of you and was moved by your stories. Some of you donated $10 despite these tough economic times. And I cannot think of a greater honor.
“I am proud of the campaign what we’ve built: corporate money-free, Richmond-strong and proud. Let’s finish strong, and put the Richmond back on track.”
In District 7, former Board of Education member Emily Murase finished fourth out of seven candidates with 3,958 votes (12.52%). The top vote-getter was Joel Engardio with 7,581 (23.99%), followed by Vilaska Nguyen (6,624 or 20.96%) and Myrna Melgar (6,488 or 20.53%). Also running were Stephen Martin-Pinto (3,486 or 11.03%), Ben Matranga (2,665 or 8.43%), and Ken Piper (780 or 2.47%).
The district is currently represented by Norman Yee, who is termed out.
In an open letter to her supporters, Murase said, “When I embarked on this road in March, there were many naysayers who said ‘You are too late,’ ‘You’ll never raise enough money,’ and ‘It’s not your time.’ But San Francisco was hit with a pandemic and needed experienced leadership. Twice elected to the school board and a city department head for over 15 years, I could not turn my back on the opportunity to be part of the solution, so I jumped into the race for District 7 supervisor, despite the naysayers.
“I mounted an ambitious, grassroots campaign and put together a star campaign team with Campaign Manager Nancy Rock, Assistant Campaign Manager Carrie Barnes, Assistant Treasurer Micaela Leonarte Paredes, Field Director Liz Gee-Ogawa, Scheduler Yumi Nguyen, Photographer Anthony Ismail, and the team at Proverb Strategy Advisors. We recruited dozens of volunteers from across both District 7 and the city who showed up at my garage every Saturday morning to help with whatever task was at hand.
“Here are a few things we accomplished:
“Participated in over 35 endorsement interviews and candidate fora.
“Raised over $250,000 from hundreds of donors.
“Visited with dozens of merchants on West Portal, Monterey Boulevard, Taraval Street, and 9th & Kirkham.
“Our canvassing efforts were to be commended. Here is a snapshot of what we achieved in a short period of time:
“Made over 1,300 phone banking calls.
“Completed over 6,000 hand-written postcards — well exceeding our goal of 2,000.
“Canvassed all 63 precincts in D7 with door hangers, not once but twice.
“Drove over 700 miles in car caravans looping through District 7.
“Last night, the Elections Department reported that, out of 31,780 votes for District 7 supervisor, I received over 4,000 votes and came in fourth out of seven candidates. While I did not win the election, I feel like a winner for all of the above accomplishments.
“Many thanks to ALL of you who went the extra mile to donate and volunteer. Your friendship and support mean so much to me.”
Mountain View City Council: In a race for four seats on the council, incumbent Margaret Abe-Koga led the field of nine candidates with 11,991 votes (16.92%), followed by Sally Lieber (9,985 or 14.09%), incumbent Lisa Matichak (9,089 or 12.82%) and Pat Showalter (8,427 or 11.89%). Also running were Alex Nunez (8,220 or 11.60%), Leonard Siegel (6,844 or 9.66%), Jose Gutierrez (6,842 or 9.65%), John Lashlee (5,184 or 7.31%), and Paul Roales (4,292 or 6.06%).
Last elected in 2016, Abe-Koga served as vice mayor in 2019 and mayor this year. She previously served two terms on the council from 2007-2015, as vice mayor in 2008, and as mayor in 2009, making her the first Asian Pacific American female to serve in those capacities in Mountain View’s history.
“I want to express my deepest gratitude for all of your amazing support throughout this campaign,” Abe-Koga said on Tuesday. “Thanks to you, we walked every precinct twice (some precincts three times!), put up 350 lawn signs, mailed over 15,000 brochures, textbanked thousands of voters, and received numerous endorsements from elected officials, community leaders, stakeholder organizations, the San Jose Mercury News and the Los Altos Town Crier newspapers.
“I am proud of our accomplishments and am humbled by your incredible support that has made this a memorable campaign.”
Palo Alto City Council: In a 10-way race for four seats on the council, Greg Lin Tanaka was third with 9,043 votes (11.47%). Patrick Burt was first with 10,767 (13.66%), incumbent Lydia Kou second with 9,782 (12.47%) and Greer Stone fourth with 9,008 (11.43%).
Also running were Ed Lauing (8,366 or 10.61%), Raven Malone (7,928 or 10.06%), Steven Lee (7,662 or 9.72%), Carolyn Templeton (7,388 or 9.37%), Rebecca Eisenberg (5,535 or 7.02%), and Ajit Varma (3,339 or 4.24%).
“I’m reaching out simply to say thank you,” Tanaka, who was first elected in 2016, said on Tuesday. “Thank you for your support. Thank you for believing in me and investing your time in our campaign to strengthen and empower our communities.
“Due to COVID-19, we are not planning any in-person celebration tonight. My hope is that, in the near future, we’ll all be able to come together safely and celebrate what we’ve achieved, regardless of tonight’s outcomes.”