Gay California Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara survived an intraparty challenge in his primary race Tuesday to advance to the general election in November where he could be running against a Republican opponent.
Because several other out candidates did not fare as well in their primary races, Lara is expected to remain California's lone LGBTQ statewide leader should he win reelection.His election four years ago marked the first time an LGBTQ person had been elected to statewide office in the Golden State.
But following a rocky first term beset by ethical scandals dating back to 2019, Lara faced not only a challenge this year from several Republicans but also from Assemblyman Marc Levine (D-Greenbrae), who ran attack ads against Lara that painted him as unfit to remain the state's insurance czar.Yet the power of incumbency and the strength of the Democratic vote, as Lara had secured the endorsement of the California Democratic Party, appear to have helped the Latino politician from Los Angeles County fend off Levine.
Lara took first place in the primary with 37% of the vote, according to the unofficial returns Wednesday."I want to thank California Primary voters for sending me to the General Election by a 2:1 margin!