The Sun Voter Guide

It’s a GOP-heavy Senate district. Voters will choose a Democrat.

California’s most surprising race for State Senate comes in the 4th District, the wide-spanning district that covers much of the Sierra Nevada Mountains, gold country, Modesto and Turlock. 

For an area that holds a solid Republican edge in voter registration, Democrats Marie Alvarado-Gil and Tim Robertson are competing for the seat in November due to Republican infighting in the primary. 

Former Congressman George Radanovich (R–Mariposa) and fellow Republicans Steven Bailey (R–El Dorado County) and Jeff McKay (R–Del Rio) split the primary vote in nearly three equal ways, handing Democrats the seat next month. 

Robertson led with 22.1 percent of the vote, with Alvarado-Gil coming behind with 18.6 percent. 

Considering the Republican majority of the district, it begs the question: Which Democrats will Republicans back? 

Neither candidate will be able to afford to campaign on a far left progressive platform. 

Alvarado-Gil, a school administrator, has positioned herself closer to the center. On her website, she said she’ll never vote to raise taxes, she thinks the state’s gas tax should be suspended and that California should increase oil drilling, especially in the Central Valley. 

She referred to the call to defund the police as “radical agendas” and that she will introduce legislation to repeal Propositions 47 and 57, the initiatives which provided penalty reductions for criminals and expanded parole. 

Alvarado-Gil has also taken a pro-choice stance and has endorsements from the California Legislative Women’s Caucus, the California Latino Legislative Caucus, the California Chamber of Commerce and the Police Officers Research Association of California. 

Robertson leads the North Valley Labor Federation and has the backing of the California Democratic Party as well as current State Senators Anna Caballero (D – Salinas), Susan Talamantes Eggman (D–Stockton), Lena Gonzalez (D–Long Beach), John Laird (D–Santa Cruz), and Scott Wiener (D–San Francisco) along with Rep. Josh Harder (D–Turlock). 

Robertson holds a major lead in the latest fundraising totals, having brought in $533,845 with $147,395 left on hand. Avarado-Gil has raised $102,470 and has $20,990 remaining. 

Daniel Gligich is a reporter for The San Joaquin Valley Sun, focusing on Fresno State Athletics and the southern San Joaquin Valley. Email him at daniel.gligich@sjvsun.com.