California primary election 2024: Key statewide, Central Valley races to watch

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Wednesday, March 6, 2024
CA primary election 2024: Key statewide, Central Valley races to watch
This year's California primary election includes some high-profile races for the Central Valley, as well as the presidential primary and other statewide races.

FRESNO (KFSN) -- This year's California primary election includes some high-profile races for the Central Valley, as well as the presidential primary and other statewide races.

ABC30 Action News will have live Election Night coverage as results come in, starting at 9 p.m. You can watch on the ABC30 News app, or by downloading the ABC30 Central California App to watch on Roku, Amazon Fire, Apple and Google TV.

There are primaries scheduled in 15 states, including in California on Super Tuesday.

Polling places will be open 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

You can take your mail-in ballot to the polling place, a drop box or a county election office. As long as it's delivered by 8 p.m.

If you prefer to mail it, your ballot must be postmarked no later than Tuesday.

You will still be able to register to vote on Tuesday as California allows people to do same-day voter registration.

Here are some key local and statewide races to keep an eye on March 5

California Presidential Primary

Donald Trump is strongly favored by Republicans in California. It's possible he could sweep the state's trove of 169 delegates, the biggest prize in the nominating contest. Heavily Democratic California probably will be an afterthought in November 2024 - the state's lopsided electorate makes it a virtual lock for Democrats on Election Day. The last Republican presidential nominee to carry the state was George H.W. Bush in 1988.

RELATED: How will California Democrats and Republicans vote in presidential primary?


California's Senate race was expected to be a three-way Democratic prizefight, but the possibility of a record-low turnout is elevating the chances of Republican Steve Garvey, a former baseball star, and could derail the congressional careers of two prominent progressives. For months, Rep. Adam Schiff has had the fundraising and polling edge in a crowded Democratic field. Garvey's ascent has imperiled the political prospects of Reps. Barbara Lee and Katie Porter. The top two finishers in the March 5 contest, regardless of party, advance to the general election in November in the liberal-leaning state.

RELATED: CA Senate race: Democrats aim to block Republican from contest to fill Feinstein's seat

Proposition 1: Gavin Newsom's Mental Health Plan

Democratic California Gov. Gavin Newsom is urging voters to approve a ballot initiative that he says is needed to tackle the state's homelessness crisis, a change social providers say would threaten programs that keep people from becoming homeless in the first place. In 2004, voters approved legislation that imposed a tax on millionaires to finance mental health services, generating $2 billion to $3 billion in revenue each year that has mostly gone to counties to fund mental health programs as they see fit under broad guidelines. Newsom wants to give the state more control over how that money is spent. Proposition 1 would require counties to spend 60% of those funds on housing and programs for homeless people with serious mental illnesses or substance abuse problems.

RELATED: What you need to know about Prop 1 for CA primary election

Ballot Initiatives

Measure E

The Measure E tax would add a penny on some $4 purchases for the next 25 years. It would not apply to rent, groceries, gas, or utilities. The pennies would quickly add up -- totaling about $63 million a year, more than $1.5 billion altogether. Voters already rejected a similar Measure E in 2022. Just over a year later, it is back with a higher tax for a longer time. It comes as Fresno State president Dr. Saul Jiménez-Sandoval says his aging campus needs help.

Measure A

Measure A is an amendment to the county's charter. It states elections for the District Attorney and Sheriff will take place during the gubernatorial election cycle instead of moving them to the presidential election cycle.

Measure B

Measure B would give the Fresno County Board of Supervisors jurisdiction over naming or changing the name of places in the county. It comes after the state's board of geographic names renamed 'Squaw Valley' to 'Yokuts Valley' following the California State legislature voting unanimously to remove the name "Squaw" from all geographic features or places in the state.

California's 20th Congressional District

California's 20th Congressional District is up for grabs following Kevin McCarthy's resignation after being ousted as Speaker of the House. District 20 includes parts of Kern, Tulare, Kings and Fresno counties.

If you live in the 20th congressional district, there's another ballot heading your way for a special primary election on March 19th.

This special primary election will determine who will replace McCarthy through the end of his term in January.

If a candidate gets the majority vote on March 19th, they will win the seat. But if there is no majority winner on the 19th, then the two candidates with the most votes will run against each other on May 21st.

Then, the majority winner of the May 21st election will fill McCarthy's empty seat through the end of the year.

If you are filling out both the March 5th primary and March 19th special primary ballots, you will see similar names.

The difference is the March 5th candidates are vying for the full-term congressional seat that starts in January, whereas the March 19th candidates are vying for the short-term congressional seat through the end of this year.

Some of the candidates vying for the position include Vince Fong, Tulare County Sheriff Mike Boudreaux and Republican businessman David Giglio.


  • Differences between two election ballots coming in the mail
  • Fresno County's Measures A and B on next week's ballot
  • What you need to know about Prop 1 ahead of California primary election
  • What local election officials want you to know ahead of Super Tuesday
  • The case for and against the Measure E sales tax proposal
  • Former President Donald Trump endorses Vince Fong for California's 20th Congressional District
  • Tulare County Sheriff Mike Boudreaux joins race to fill Kevin McCarthy's seat