An Express Article from the California Land Title Association
Bulletin 09/10-102 - June 18, 2010
In the days since the June primary, the race for the Republican nomination for Insurance Commissioner to face off against Democratic nominee Assemblyman Dave Jones in the general election has come down to the wire. The day after the election, Brian Fitzgerald, an attorney with the Department of Insurance, looked like the winner over Assemblyman Mike Villines by a slim margin. Now, however, the election hangs in the balance due to thousands of uncounted absentee ballots. Villines, who reportedly spent close to one million dollars to Fitzgerald’s $5,000, is now slightly ahead in the vote tally. Fitzgerald had initially been signaled by the press as the winner in the hours following election day voting.
Initially, Villines had signed a pledge not to vote to raise taxes. But as a Republican leader in the Legislature he ended up working on last year’s budget compromise, which included his vote for a tax increase. This “change of heart” lead to criticism from conservatives as well as the hosts of the popular “John and Ken” radio show in Southern California. A race which should have been no contest became a hard-fought battle for the Republican nomination.
Anyone telling a campaign professional early this year that Fitzgerald had a chance in this election would have been summarily dismissed as simply politically naive. But this election season has shown time and again that it has been anything but predictable. And while Fitzgerald is currently trailing in votes, many of the remaining uncounted ballots are from Southern California, an area in which Fitzgerald performed well on election day and seems to hold an advantage.
Regardless of who becomes the Republican nominee for Insurance Commissioner in this primary race that will be decided by the slimmest of margins, voters should once again be reminded that every vote really does count.