L.A. Times editorial board election endorsements explained


Voting in the 2022 general election began last month and continues through Tuesday. Mailed ballots that arrive at county registrar offices up to a full week later will still be counted.

It’s a particularly long ballot for Angelenos this year because this is the first election in which the citywide elected positions — mayor, city controller and city attorney — are held at the same time as state and national elections.

For voters who haven’t made their selections, the full list of L.A. Times endorsements can be found online.

The editorial board, which is part of the Opinion section and separate from the newsroom, endorses selectively. We focus on ballot measures and races that are competitive — such the one to replace Rep. Karen Bass, who is running for L.A. mayor, in Congress — or little known — such as the election for L.A. Superior Court judges. Before making our recommendations we interview candidates, examine their records, speak to people who know or have worked with them and consider their priorities if elected. For ballot measures, we meet with the yes and no campaigns and then dig into the various arguments and talk to topic experts. The board members then discuss all these factors, recognizing the positions and values the board has previously supported. The board collectively decides on which candidates to recommend.

This year the editorial board has endorsed a number of candidates who come with different professional experiences and backgrounds, particularly in L.A. city races. That’s partly the result of a broader array of candidates running. In past elections, incumbents, or candidates put forth by the political parties, lined up early support, while grassroots or community candidates had little chance. The changes to the election calendar, as well as a groundswell of activism and political organizing in the last few years, driven by the homelessness crisis and the murder of George Floyd, have upended that old dynamic.

Our endorsements in 2022 reflect that change. Incumbents and political insiders bear the burden of proving they deserve to keep their seats. Have they lived up to their promises? Have they been wise stewards of taxpayers’ money? Have they been willing to tackle the toughest problems and make progress toward fixing them? If not, in many races there are qualified, ambitious challengers ready to step in and do the job.