Democratic incumbent Rob Bonta beats Republican Nathan Hochman in California attorney general race

Rob Bonta speaks at a microphone during an outdoor press conference.
California Atty. Gen. Rob Bonta during a press conference in Santa Monica in July.
(Genaro Molina/Los Angeles Times)

Incumbent Democratic Atty. Gen. Rob Bonta won by a wide margin over Republican defense attorney Nathan Hochman in California’s race for top cop — a position that rose in importance and relevance after two U.S. Supreme Court decisions this summer rolled back laws on gun control and abortion access.

The Associated Press called the race, though official results will take longer to finalize. Bonta was leading with more than 64% of the votes counted.

Bonta, a former San Francisco Bay Area state lawmaker known for his progressive views on criminal justice, campaigned on the promise to defend California’s robust abortion laws and continue his work to end gun violence and illegal firearm ownership.


“What is next for our nation remains unknown, but what is known is that no matter what happens in Washington DC, no matter what radical Republicans try to throw our way in state houses, your attorney general will go to court, sue, and fight back,” Bonta said in a prepared statement after the race was called.

Gov. Gavin Newsom appointed Bonta last year after Xavier Becerra resigned to become U.S. Health and Human Services secretary. This was Bonta’s first run for statewide office.

During his tenure, Bonta prioritized ending an “epidemic of hate” against communities of color and other vulnerable groups and has used a new “housing strike force” within the California Department of Justice to pressure local governments into compliance with state laws.