2022 Shellacking: Part 5: California (SubPart 2)

We covered the cause and purpose of this series in the previous parts:

Basically, we’re looking at each state and checking who is running and who is expected to win in each. This breakdown will hopefully give an insight into where and why Democrats are in for a bad time this year, and what they could have done about it, and why we as the people of the USA should care.

So far, we’ve found a 4 representative systemic deficit for Democrats, with maybe one seat to flip in AZ for Republicans. 4 Republican seats aren’t contested at all, compared to 0 Democrat seats.

Let’s look further at California and see if the numbers change. Since it’s such a large state, we’ll break this up into several subparts. So far we have a 3-3 tie in seats, but now we’re moving south to the heavily Democrat districts.

California District 7:

The 7th district has shifted from the east of Sacramento to the center and south. It is solidly Democrat in population.

Holding the seat currently is Democrat Doris Okada Matsui. A career politician, she took up her husband’s seat, being elected after his death in 2005. She is a strong proponent of women’s rights, including abortion and equal pay. She often votes for budget increases and stimulus, as well as pushing for higher minimum wage and extended unemployment benefits. Her focus on drug smuggling from Mexico earned her a reputation as hard on drugs, while also supporting safe needle exchange sites. Other than that she is generally a progressive.

Opposing her in this race is Republican Max Semenenko, a Ukrainian immigrant and land developer focusing on the economy, the 2nd amendment, immigration reform & pulling pharmaceuticals from healthcare. There’s little else of detail on his campaign site, but interviews reveal his positions to be moderate, without the conspiracy mindedness and lies of the majority of his party currently.

Despite that, Matsui will probably win on demographics alone.

California District 8:

District 8 migrated from rural red East California to North San Franscisco. As such, it’s a lock for Democrats, democraphically.

The current incumbent is Democrat John Garamendi, a Peace Corp serviceman and career politician. His past includes a scandal in 1991 in which he brokered a sale of seized assets from a life insurance company, which ended up going to a French bank, which ended up causing severe financial discomfort to many policyholders. He’s had multiple experiences with wildly changed electoral districts and won them all, so he is one of the few politicians who would probably be least impacted by the changes. Garamendi was an early critic of Trump, often noting his myriad conflicts of interest and selection of people to posts not suited for them. On immigration, Garamendi is for more enforcement of E-Verify and voted to bar half of all refugees from Syria and Iraq. He is against the patriot act and voted against funding an untested missile defense system costing 5 billion dollars on the East Coast. He is a member of the Green New Deal coalition and a cosponsor for Medicare for All.

Running against him is Republican Rudy Recile, a veteran and project manager (with a degree from National Graduate School, a name so dubious I looked it up only to find it existed for 10 years and then lost accreditation), then folded. He is very good at answering questions in a moderate fashion, but a look at his website reveals him to be a perpetrator of the Big Lie and anti-COVID regulations in general, putting him more on the extreme end. Otherwise his policies run the usual Republican set, with little exception.

Recile says often people ask him why they should bother to vote in a district so heavily Democrat. Unlike Alabama Democrats, Recile is going to try anyway. He’ll probably lose.

California District 9:

District 9 combines a strong Democrat base with a strong Republican base, making is one of the more mixed districts. In 2020 it pulled away from Antioch and towards Milton, moving from Blue to Red zones.

Holding the seat is Democrat Josh Harder, a venture businessman & professor. He’s not very high profile, even getting hate mail for Josh Hawley accidentally after the latter supported the Jan 6th coup attempt. He focuses on bringing down prices in general and healthcare in particular, and local job creation.

Running against him is Republican Tom Patti, a businessman and San Joaquin County Board of Supervisors member. There’s honestly not a lot of differences between Patti and Harder in terms of what they say their focus is, thought Harder is more specific and Patti doesn’t have an issues list that outlines actions he will take.

Despite the moves in districting, it is not considered a likely pick up for Republicans at this time.

California District 10:

District 10 has shifted from Modesto area to Concord and Antioch. It is an entirely different location from it’s previous districting, like many of California’s districts, but retains the politicians from that area when it was a different district.

The incumbent Democrat Mark DeSaulnier is an ex-Republican state legislator and current US representative to district 11. He has held service jobs and owned several restaurants in the bay area. His main focus is on environment and young education issues. He also pushes for allowing newspapers to run as non-profits to ensure journalistic quality amid advertiser shortages.

Running for the seat is Green Party candidate Michael Ernest Kerr. A peace activist, he supports a dismantling of the military industrial complex and a shift to focus on climate change issues, as well as a ban on drone uses for assassination’s. He is a 9-11 conspiracist.

This district is solidly Democrat, and while a Republican did run in the primary, she did not make it to the general election.

California District 11:

District 11 was where the tenth used to be, and is now the heart of San Francisco.

The seat is held by Democrat Nancy Pelosi, who is Speaker of the House. A powerhouse of Congress akin to McConnel in the Senate, it is nearly impossible to sum up her profile in a paragraph. Her issue focuses are on affordable healthcare, local and national investments in economy, corporate regulation and civil rights. She passed two major bills, the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act and the American Rescue Plan Act, in the latest Congress. She’s seen as a moderate left politician, giving lukewarm support to progressive policies occasionally.

Running against her is Republican John Dennis, a furniture designer and real estate developer. His focuses are on spending, foreign policy and immigration, but lacks any substantial policy proposals (every “read more” button leads to his biography page). From what can be gleaned, he thinks the federal government overspends, that we should be more isolationist and that legal immigration should be limited more.

Given that Dennis got 10% of the primary vote compared to 71% for Pelosi, It’s highly unlikely that this seat will be lost. It should however be noted that Republicans are still trying, unlike Democrats, to battle for seats they don’t have a chance to win, even against the Speaker.


Mid-California is where a lot of the politicking takes place, but it’s not really where most of the active people are. Races are fairly non-competitive, and very blue.

Even so, every seat is contested, and none are left to be unrepresented.

We leave this subsection still with a 3-3 tie in California.

What do you think? Who do you think should win in the districts? And how well do the candidates match the districts?