Re-elect State Assemblymember Sabrina Cervantes to keep AD-60 under Democratic control.
About the Position
State Assembly Members form part of the California State Legislature, and work alongside the governor to establish laws and a state budget. They hold the power to pass bills that affect public policy, set state spending levels, raise and lower taxes, and uphold or override the governor’s vetoes. The California State Assembly has 80 districts. Each represents a population of at least 465,000 Californians. Representatives are elected to the Assembly for a two-year term. Every two years, all 80 seats are subject to election. Members elected before 2012 are restricted to three two-year terms (six years) in the Assembly. Those elected in or after 2012 are allowed to serve 12 years total across both the State Senate and Assembly. This term, Democrats currently hold a two-thirds supermajority of 61 seats in the California State Assembly, while Republicans hold 17 seats. One seat is held by an Independent, and one seat is currently vacant.
About the District
California's 60th Assembly District includes parts of Riverside County. Republicans typically hold this district. The most recent election results show AD-60 voted for Hillary Clinton for president in 2016 and Gavin Newsom for governor in 2018.
About the Race
In the primary, Democrat incumbent Representative Sabrina Cervantes led far-right Republican challenger Chris Raahauge by a margin of 8.8 percent.
Rep. Cervantes’s campaign has raised $1,015,215, has not committed to any campaign finance pledges, and has taken significant money from Chevron, Exxon Mobil, PBF Energy, the California Independent Petroleum Association, Edison International, PG&E, the California Statewide Law Enforcement Association, the Los Angeles Police Protective League, the Los Angeles County Professional Peace Officers Association, the Riverside Sheriffs Association, the Corona Police Officers Association, and numerous banking, real estate, pharmaceutical, private healthcare, pawnbroker/payday loan, and corporate organizations.
Raahauge’s campaign has raised $9,785, also not committed to any campaign finance pledges, and commands only three endorsements: the California Pro-Life Council, Gun Owners of California, and the National Rifle Association. Raahauge works as a peace officer for a county probation department and cites public treatment of law enforcement as what spurred his decision to run. He says on his campaign website: “...we have seen anti-law enforcement legislation, homeless encampments tolerated, and even officers contracting typhus.” The website goes on to claim that there is an epidemic of shoplifting in society and provides links to two petitions to stop early prisoner release. Raahague’s campaign Facebook page includes advertisements for a fundraiser featuring a 9/11 documentary “So Secret We Can Not Even Tell You The Title”, hinting at an affiliation with the 9/11 Truther conspiracy movement. He has stated on Facebook and in interviews that he supports ending all Covid prevention measures and believes President Trump’s assertion that California wildfires are caused by mismanaged brush clearing efforts.
Furthermore, the Raahauge family is known throughout the district as gun range owners. In 2013, it was discovered that Patrick Raahauge was operating the range despite being a convicted felon barred from firearm possession and in 2017 the range was served with a lawsuit for wrongful death and negligence after a man was killed. The Press Enterprise reports: “The lawsuit says the range was designed ‘contrary to all design standards and common sense’ so that rifle fire was aimed directly toward a crowd of people, with some areas protected from an off-target shot only by plywood.”
About the Candidate
Rep. Sabrina Cervantes is the incumbent, having served as assemblymember since 2016. She scores a lifetime 29 out of 100 on Courage Score, our annual analysis of legislators’ progressive voting records. Based on our Courage Score analysis, Rep. Cervantes abstained or voted no on most progressive bills that made it to a vote from 2017 to 2019. She has voted against expanding overtime pay, eliminating life sentences for minors, allowing minors to consult lawyers during interrogations, preventing children under 12 from being tried in juvenile court, rejecting concealed-carry gun permits from out-of-state holders, prohibiting the state from charging inmates administrative fees for medical visits, encouraging affordable housing production in “high-resource” areas, capping rent increases, reinstating net neutrality, decriminalizing truancy, and repealing sentencing enhancements for those with prior offenses. She abstained from voting on reforming War on Drugs–era sentence enhancements, allowing workers to return to work during labor claim processes, requiring law enforcement to notify the public when acquiring military equipment, ending the transport of oil from offshore drilling facilities to the state, setting a goal of 100 percent clean energy in California by 2045, requiring charter schools to get permission from local school districts to operate, and prohibiting no-rehire provisions that bar victims of mistreatment from employment with the offending company.
While we recognize Rep. Sabrina Cervantes’s problematic track record does not suggest she will provide progressive leadership in office, her inaction on legislation and campaign finance is greatly overshadowed by the threat of Chris Raahague’s far-right campaign, stances, and history in the district. According to our analysis, Rep. Sabrina Cervantes is the best choice for keeping the district under Democratic control. We encourage progressive organizations and individuals in AD-60 to consider future runs for office that accurately reflect the voting tendencies of the citizenry.