The San Mateo County Democratic and Republican parties have announced endorsements for the November election amid a statewide surge in voter registration.
While both parties have announced endorsements for local ballot measures, only the Democratic Party has pledged support for local candidates.
In Redwood City, which is entering into its first district elections, the County Democratic Central Committee has endorsed incumbents Janet Borgens for District 3 and Alicia Aguirre for District 7. It has also endorsed Amourence Lee and Diane Papan for San Mateo City Council; Ron Collins and John Dugan for San Carlos City Council; and Davina Hurt and Tom McCune for Belmont City Council. Each of these candidates is pictured above from left to right.
For local ballot measures, the Democrats and Republicans are at odds across the board. As one example, the County’s Democratic Central Committee is supporting Measure RR, the Caltrain 1/8 cent sales tax that aims to provide the transit agency with a dedicated source of funding to recover from the pandemic and enhance service. County Republicans reject the measure.
The endorsements precede an historic election that has seen a significant increase in registered voters throughout the state, a trend that appears to favor Democrats, including in San Mateo County.
As of July 3, a record 20.9 million out of a total 25.06 million eligible voters have registered, which amounts to 83.49 percent of eligible voters, according to data provided by the California Secretary of State. That’s an increase from about 18.1 million registered voters in the 2016 presidential election, or 72.89 percent of eligible voters.
Of those registered for the November 2020 election, about 9.7 million, or 46.3 percent, are voting as Democrat, while just over 5 million are voting Republican. Another 5 million voters registered as having no party preference, and those independents now outnumber GOP voters. Another 1.2 million are in the “other” parties category, which include the Independent, Green, Libertarian and Peace and Freedom parties.
In comparison to the 2016 presidential election, the percentage of registered Democrats has increased from 45.1 percent to 46.3 percent, while the percentage of Republicans has decreased from 27.1 percent to 24 percent, the state’s data showed. Meanwhile, the number of registered voters with no party preference increased from 23.3 percent to 24 percent from 2016, while those registering in parties that are not the Democratic and Republican parties also rose from 2016 from 4.5 percent to 5.7 percent.
San Mateo County has the sixth highest percentage of registered Democrats in the state, with 54.38 percent. Only San Francisco (62.1 percent); Marin (59.93); Alameda (59.54); Santa Cruz (59.04) and Sonoma (56.19) have higher percentages.
Oct. 19 is the traditional voter registration deadline for the Nov. 3 General Election, although same-day voter registration remains an option. Voting is set to start on Oct. 5, when all California counties will begin mailing ballots to every active, registered voter.