Who is running for the Board of Directors for the US Senate in 2022?

What do a socialist, a billionaire and a podiatrist have in common?

They are all running for US senators for California in 2023.

Twenty-three candidates are on the California Secretary of State Certified List run for a full six-year term. Of these, eight are also running to fill the remainder of his current term and will therefore appear twice on the ballot.

Sen. Alex Padilla, the incumbent Democrat, is running to both finish this term and serve the next. He is heavily favored to win both.

California’s first Latin American senator, Padilla was nominated by Governor Gavin Newsom to serve the remainder of Vice President Kamala Harris’ unexpired term. He previously served as California’s Secretary of State.

Below California law, the governor must call an election during the regular primary and general elections to fill a vacant seat in the Senate. The governor appoints someone to take over.

Since joining the Senate in January 2021, Padilla, 49, has worked on COVID-19, wildfires, water and housing assistance. He has also led immigration reform bills, called for an end to the filibuster rule, and lobbied for voting rights legislation.

“I seek a full term as a senator to continue to serve Californians and continue to fight for the critical issues at stake for our country – the fundamental right to choose, the right to vote, immigration reform and the protection of our democracy,” he said in a statement sent to The Bee.

He serves with Senator Dianne Feinstein, 88, a Democrat who will not be re-elected until 2024. Sources from a recent San Francisco Chronicle article questioned his ability to continue in office. Feinstein denied these claims.

The California primaries take place on June 7. The top two voters in each race – for the partial term and the full six years – regardless of party advance to a special and general election in November. The winner of the special election will take office immediately. The winner of the general will take office in the Senate in 2023.


Among Padilla’s Democratic challengers is Dan O’Dowd, a billionaire tech entrepreneur who is running for both the remainder of this term and the next. Its mission is to “make computers safe for mankind”, including strengthening cybersecurity and removing Tesla’s fully self-driving car technology from the market until it is safer.

“We need to stop putting lives at risk with bad software, badly designed software that will fail,” he told The Bee.

Timothy J. Ursich Jr.chiropractor and sports medicine specialist, will also be in the running for both terms.

Three Democrats are only seeking the full term: Akinyemi Agbedea mathematician; Douglas Howard Piercea missing child advocate, and Obaidul Huq Pirjadaa lawyer.

Pirjada told The Bee that his priorities would be to reduce inflation, improve the child tax credit and help the elderly and veterans, among other groups. He said that while his campaign may not have the backing of the biggest donors, his background helps him make personal connections with immigrants, communities of color and families.

“Eastsummit for the community of ordinary people,” he said.


Four Republicans are vying for both the remainder of this term and the next.

Jon Elist is the founder and CEO of a medical device company. He has the most campaign money of all Padilla’s challengers

Elist focuses on economics, immigration reform, crime, and parental choice in raising their children. Most of its solutions involve bipartisan compromise, such as better pathways to citizenship for those who seek it.

“I am a very independent-minded candidate. I definitely lean conservative, but at the end of the day, I’m a pragmatist,” he told The Bee. “Even on a personal level, having a personal relationship with the people across the aisle.”

James P. Bradley previously worked in search and rescue for the Coast Guard and the healthcare sector. In a poll of voters by iSideWith, a nonpartisan political discussion and polling platform, Bradley ranks second to Padilla with 14% of the vote. Padilla sits at 50%.

Bradley told The Bee that tax breaks to help small business owners and entrepreneurs are among his priorities for the economy, housing and education.

“Te great is the future of our children. Many bills are being passed eroding parental rights and their ability to properly parent,” Bradley said.

Mark P. Meuser is a lawyer who focuses on electoral and constitutional law. He has advocated against extended distance learning during the COVID-19 pandemic and served as a lawyer in a lawsuit against California leaders over politics.

Dr. Myron L. Hall is a podiatrist and former naval officer who opposes pandemic mandates, is pro-life, and supports the Second Amendment. In response to an interview request, a rep for Hall simply replied, “The goal is to win.”

Six Republicans are only running for the full term.

Pastor Sarah Sun Liewa businesswoman and director of a non-profit, comes forward to support small business owners, students, people on temporary work visas and healthcare leaders.

“We have to make them street smart,” she said of the students. “There are not enough internships. They wouldn’t have all these college loans if we were to support these relationships as entrepreneurs and students work together.

Robert George Lucero Jr.consultant, prioritizes preventing nuclear war, solving the homelessness crisis and creating jobs.

Enrique Petris is a businessman and investor who lobbies for tighter border security and more military funding.

Carlos Guillermo Tapia is a business owner and real estate agent, according to the California SOS listing.

Cordie Williamschiropractor and former Marine, bases his conservative platform on medical freedom, parental rights and curbing government excesses, among other issues.

chuck smith, a veteran and former law enforcement officer, wants to tackle crime rates as part of an America-First platform that prioritizes “God, Liberty and Country.” He told The Bee he wanted to cut government spending and open up oil production to curb inflation.

“I’m notnot a politician, never have I been. The last time I was in the job was when I was class president in high school,” Smith said. “But you know what, our current administration – both parties they have been so involved in politics that they have forgotten what people want.

Third party candidates

John Thompson Parker of Socialist Unity Party is coordinator of the Harriet Tubman Center for Social Justice. He has a Peace and Freedom Party voting designation and wants to end police brutality and white supremacy.

James “Henk” Conn, a member of the Green Party, is a social worker who cares for the mentally ill and the homeless. He wants to strengthen social security and disability insurance and raise the minimum wage to $25 to help vulnerable people find housing. He hopes his campaign will shed light on the problems of the two-party system.

We should have a third, and the Green Party is viable,” Conn said. “The duopoly can be broken. A conversation starts with two and runs out; with three, social scientists find that the conversations are starting to grow. We need a third party.

Pamela Elizondoanother Green Party candidate, is a marijuana plastic entrepreneur and environmental healing consultant.

Four candidates are listed as “no party preference”.

Eleanor Garcia, a member of the Socialist Workers’ Party, was an aerospace factory worker who worked with union leaders across the country. She focuses on workers’ rights and family planning. She described the inflation as part of a “huge capitalist crisis”.

“But in this crisis, what the capitalist class is trying to do is try to hoist it on the backs of the working class. That’s why all these working conditions are getting worse. They’re trying to get more workers out of fewer workers,” she told The Bee.

Don J. Grundmann, a member of the Constitutional Party, is a chiropractor. He wants to dismantle the Internal Revenue Service and the Federal Reserve System and return to the use of United States Notes, a type of currency last issued in 1971. He also wants to ban same-sex marriage and immigration.

Deon D. Jenkins has no party preference or ballot designation. He’s a hip-hop organizer who lobbied for reparations.

The only candidate with no listed party preference who will appear twice on the ballot is Daphne Bradford, educational consultant and independent. Her top priority is public safety, which builds on her work as the founder of Building Blue Bridges, a law enforcement de-escalation program that connects officers to the community.

Just as Padilla made history, Bradford made a bid for his position.

You want them to fight for our right to choose for women? Want to talk about history? There has never been an independent woman in the Senate. I come with a different perspective,” she said.

This story was updated at 9:47 a.m. PT on May 11, 2022 to include a social media video.

This story was originally published May 11, 2022 5:00 a.m.

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Gillian Brassil is the congressional reporter for McClatchy’s California Publications. She covers federal policies, people, and issues impacting the Golden State from Capitol Hill. She graduated from Stanford University.

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