On June 5, Californians for the first time will vote in an open primary.
The top two vote-getters in a race will move on to the November general election, whether they are from the same party or not.
In addition, this will be the first election with the new congressional, state Senate and state Assembly districts approved last fall by the California Citizens Redistricting Commission. They officially take effect in January. You can look at the new districts at this website.
The Contra Costa elections department website is here. Below are the races people in Contra Costa County will see on their June ballot.
Patch will provide more coverage of these races between now the primary.
This new district includes San Ramon, Livermore, Dublin, Pleasanton, Castro Valley, San Lorenzo, Union City Hayward and part of Fremont.
There are three candidates in this election.
Democrat Congressman Pete Stark was first elected to Congress in 1972. On his website, he says he has led "the fight to protect Social Security and Medicare, enact health reform, promote peace rather than war, and standing up for working families."
Democrat Eric Swalwell is an Alameda County prosecutor who also serves on the Dublin City Council. Swalwell grew up in Dublin and graduated from Dublin High. He's offering himself as a moderate alternative to Stark.
Christopher Pereja lists no party preference and no job description on the ballot. On his website, he criticizes career politicians and says he wants to build strong economy. The Hayward resident is the owner of B2B Power Exchange and LeadGenaires, companies that help businesses find new opportunities
The new district is primarily in Contra Costa and includes Richmond, Pinole, El Cerrito, San Pablo, Kensington, part of Martinez, Concord, Clayton, Lamorinda, Pleasant Hill, Danville, Alamo and Walnut Creek.
There are four candidates in this race.
Democratic Congressman George Miller was first elected to Congress in 1974. He is a lifelong Contra Costa County resident who is outspoken on environmental and health care reform issues.
Democrat Cheryl Sudduth is a Richmond resident who lists herself on the ballot as a director of contracts and compliance. A website for Sudduth's campaign is still "under construction."
Democrat John Fitzgerald is a Concord resident who lists himself as a contractor. On his website, Fitzgerald is quoted as saying global warming is a scam and further investigations are needed into the Sept. 11 attacks and the Oklahoma City bombing.
Republican Virginia Fuller is a registered nurse who lives in Pinole. She lists herself as an advocate for children’s health who wants to build jobs in inner cities and offer school choices to parents.
The new district includes Lake Sonoma, Napa, Solano and Contra Costa counties - including Martinez, Pinole, Hercules, Crockett and Rodeo.
There are three candidates on the ballot.
Democratic Congressman Mike Thompson was first elected to Congress in 1998. He's a former state senator and a Vietnam veteran who was awarded a Purple Heart. The St. Helena resident is also a small vineyard owner who describes himself as a Blue Dog Democrat.
Republican Randy Loftin is a Napa resident who works as a financial planner. No website could be found for Loftin.
Republican Stewart John Cilley is listed as a certified public accountant who lives in Rohnert Park. No website could be found for Cilley.
The new district includes Concord, Clayton, Dublin, Pleasanton, Livermore, San Ramon, Danville, Alamo, Walnut Creek, Lamorinda and East County.
There are two candidates.
Democrat Mark DeSaulnier was first elected to the state Senate in 2008. He's also businessman who has served on the Concord City Council and Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors.
Republican Mark Meuser operates a civil litigation firm that represents both individuals and small businesses. As a youngster, Meuser picked cherries and set up a roadside stand to sell them. He owned a pizza restaurant while studying law. He was campaign manager and chief of staff for Sen. John Loudon of Missouri before starting his law practice.
The new district includes Martinez, Benicia, Vallejo, Fairfield, Vacaville, Davis, Woodland, Napa, Sonoma, Petaluma and Rohnert Park.
There's only one candidate on the ballot in this race.
Democrat Lois Wolk was elected to the state Senate in 2008. Wolk was in the state Assembly from 2002 to 2008. She lives in Davis. She’s also been a mayor and county supervisor.
The new district includes San Leandro, Oakland, Berkeley, Alameda, Albany, El Cerrito, Richmond, Pinole and Hercules.
There's only one candidate in this election.
Democrat Loni Hancock was elected to the state Senate in 2008. Prior to that she served as assemblywoman and mayor of Berkeley.
The new district includes Livermore, Pleasanton, Dublin, the San Ramon Valley, Lamorinda and Walnut Creek.
There are two candidates in this race.
Democrat Joan Buchanan was a San Ramon Valley Unified School District board member for 20 years. She was first elected to the Assembly in 2008. Education is one of her primary issues.
Republican Al Phillips lives in Livermore and is a union construction superintendent. He says on his website that he favors reducing regulations and streamlining government. His focus is on pension debt, the budget deficit and school performance.
The new district includes Concord, Clayton, Pleasant Hill, Martinez, Benicia and Vallejo.
There's only one candidate running in this race.
Democrat Susan Bonilla was first elected to the Assembly in 2010. Prior to that, she served on the Contra Costa Board of Supervisors and on the Concord City Council. She's also a former high school English teacher.
The new district includes Benicia and Martinez as well as a large part of Solano County and the Delta.
There are six candidates in this race.
Democrat Jim Frazier is the mayor of Oakley who has been a small business owner for 21 years. On his website, Frazier says he will put "people before politics." During his political career he has focused on health care issues, job creation and highway improvements.
Democrat Patricia Hernandez is a Rio Vista resident who lists herself as a professional negotiator who helps negotiate contracts for the Union of American Physicians and Dentists.
Democrat Gene Gantt is a retired Benicia fire chief who currently is the interim executive director of the California State Firefighters Association. He describes himself as an avid conservationist and outdoorsman.
Len Augustine lists no party preference on the ballot. He a retired USAF colonel and the former mayor of Vacaville. On his website, Augustine says during his 16 years on the City Council, he helped bring business to Vacaville and revitalize the city's downtown. He is a member or former member of more than a dozen community groups.
Republican Mike Hudson is Suisun City's vice mayor and a local business owner. Hudson spent 10 years in the U.S. Navy submarine service. He has owned Hudson Business Networks since 2001. On his website, Hudson says his priorities in his second term on the council are public safety and a balanced budget.
Democrat Charles Kingeter lists himself on the ballot as a programmer/artist. No website could be found for Kingeter.
The district includes the San Ramon Valley, Lafayette, Moraga, Orinda and part of Walnut Creek.
There are three candidates.
Candace Anderson is the mayor of Danville. She's been on the Town Council for 10 years. She holds a degree in public policy.
Sean White is a solar energy professor who lives in Canyon. He has a Facebook page that lists himself as a "Green/Democrat." On his website, White says his main reason for running is to "furthur expose the effects that money has on politics."
Tomi Van der Brooke is a Contra Costa Community College District trustee who has worked for Fortune 500 companies and run a small business. She lives in Orinda.
This new district covers much of East Contra Costa County as well as the eastern portion of the San Ramon Valley.
There is only one candidate.
Mary Nejedly Piepho is the incumbent. She is a Discovery Bay resident who has served two terms on the board.
This new district covers northern Contra Costa County, stretching from Pittsburg to Hercules.
There is only one candidate.
Federal Glover has been on the board since 2000.