This is Essential Politics, our daily look at California political and government news. Here's what we're watching right now:
- California Atty. Gen. Xavier Becerra said Wednesday that he intends to open a satellite attorney general's office in Washington, D.C., as he prepares to fight the Trump administration.
- The results from California's latest cap-and-trade auction are in, and revenue from the sale of pollution credits was weak.
- A bill that would set up a state-funded legal aid system for immigrants will be amended by its author to allow those with criminal records to apply for assistance.
Nearly two dozen people submitted paperwork to run in the 34th Congressional District before 5 p.m. on Thursday, the deadline for candidates to file with the L.A. County Registrar.
The final certified list of candidates is expected to be released next week.
In the meantime, California Secretary of State Alex Padilla released the results of the "random alphabet drawing" — a ritual that occurs for every election in which the agency's staff literally pulls letters from a bingo-style cage. See this example from last year's election season:
Officials do this to make the ballot order (and any potential advantages or disadvantages) random. Some have argued in the past that ballot order may have played a role in election outcomes, such as the surprise victory of Patty Lopez over then-incumbent Raul Bocanegra in 2014.
If all the candidates who filed to run for Becerra's old seat qualify, that would make Mark Edward Padilla, a nonpartisan candidate, the first to appear on the ballot. Adrienne Nicole Edwards, a Democrat who challenged Becerra in 2016, would be last — but only on the ballots in the portion of the district that overlaps with Assembly District 51.
That's because officials randomize the ballot order further, switching it up by state Assembly district within each congressional district. In Assembly District 53, which makes up the other half of the district, Democrat Robert Lee Ahn's name would appear first, while Padilla's would be moved to the bottom of the ballot.
Need a refresher on who's who in the race? Read more about each candidate (and those who have dropped out).