An Express Article from the California Land Title Association
Bulletin 09/10-98 - June 9, 2010
On June 8th, voters cast ballots resulting in some upsets and interesting results.
In the race for Republican nominee for Governor, candidate Meg Whitman trounced California Insurance Commissioner and fellow candidate Steve Poizner by a substantial margin (64% to 27%). The contest was marked by exorbitant spending, with Whitman’s campaign spending a record high of $80 million – much of that money furnished from Whitman’s own assets -- over the course of the primary. Whitman will now go on to face Democratic candidate and former Governor, Jerry Brown – who won in a lopsided Democratic primary -- in November.
Insurance Commissioner Race
On the Republican side, voters handed former Assembly Republican Mike Villines a surprise defeat by electing a practically unknown Republican opponent, Brian Fitzgerald, by a very narrow margin (50.4% to 49.6%). Most pundits had assumed Villines would be the Republican candidate in the November general election, but post-election analysts are now pointing to anti-incumbent sentiment and Villines’ controversial vote for a series of tax increases two years ago as several of the reasons for his downfall in the primary.
Republican candidate Brian Fitzgerald is a virtual unknown and currently works with the California Department of Insurance as an attorney in the Enforcement Division. As November nears, political experts, campaign strategists, and others will be scrambling to uncover more information about Fitzgerald and where he stands on issues affecting the insurance industry and consumers.
One thing is already certain, however: Fitzgerald will now face Democratic candidate Assemblyman Dave Jones, who handily defeated his Democratic opponent, Assemblyman Hector De La Torre, by a margin of 61.2% to 38.8%. Assemblyman De La Torre was the author of two controversial bills that would have forced title companies to locate and redact antiquated offensive racial covenants from old documents held by county recorders. Both proposed measures were successfully defeated by the CLTA, in the 2007-08 and 2009-10 legislative sessions, respectfully.At this point, Assemblyman Jones is considered the favorite for the November election. The CLTA has worked successfully with him on a number of bills during his tenure as Chairman of the Assembly Judiciary Committee.