California election results: Garvey, Schiff advance

As the dust settles from Tuesday’s primary night, Californians are waking up to two major decisions: The next U.S. senator will either be Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff or Republican former L.A. Dodger Steve Garvey. And odds are that the state will expand its mental health and substance abuse treatment infrastructure and overhaul the way it funds mental health programs through Proposition 1.

It’s no surprise that Schiff — who has led both in the polls and in fundraising throughout the campaign — made it to the November ballot, writes CalMatters politics reporter Yue Stella Yu. In his victory speech, Schiff thanked his family, supporters, former U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Assembly Speaker Robert Rivas and others. 

During the speech, protestors interrupted Schiff by shouting “ceasefire now” and “let Gaza live” in reference to the Israeli invasion. Before exiting the stage, he acknowledged the demonstrators and reminded audience members to go “onward to victory in November.” 

  • Schiff: “We are so lucky to live in a democracy where we all have the right to protest… and we want to make sure that we keep this kind of democracy.”

While Garvey was a strong second Tuesday night, the scale tips towards Schiff again for the general election. Now that Democratic Reps. Katie Porter and Barbara Lee are out, voters in November will have a clear partisan choice in a deep-blue state where no Republican has won statewide since 2006.

During the primary campaign, Schiff and Garvey clashed on a number of issues, including the federal minimum wage, fossil fuel energy and former President Donald Trump. Though Garvey has dodged questions about whether he will vote for Trump in November, Garvey voted for him in both 2016 and 2020. Schiff, however, staked a large part of his Senate run on his experience leading the first impeachment trial against Trump in 2020.

Whoever wins will start later this year and serve alongside U.S. Sen. Alex Padilla — ending California’s 30-year long streak of having at least one female senator. 

For more on the Schiff-Garvey matchup, read Stella’s story.

Meanwhile, Prop. 1 was leading by a slim margin late Tuesday night.

As CalMatters health reporter Kristen Hwang explained, the two-part ballot measure was championed by Gov. Gavin Newsom and supported by law enforcement groups and major health care organizations. It includes a $6.4 billion bond to create treatment beds and permanent supportive housing. It would also reroute money from a “millionaire’s tax” and require counties to invest 30% of that money to go towards building behavioral health housing.

Before polls closed, Newsom posted on X (formerly Twitter) that Californians have the chance to “reimagine our mental healthcare system” and help unhoused people “get into the care and housing they need.” 

But critics of the measure, including disability rights advocates and individuals living with mental illness, remain worried that current mental health programs will be gutted, and that the state is making it easier to force people into involuntary confinement.

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