Southern Californians headed to the polls Tuesday in a primary election that featured statewide races for governor and secretary of state, and Los Angeles County contests for supervisor and sheriff.
Candidates were looking to finish with enough votes to move forward to the November general election. Under the state's open primary system, the two candidates receiving the most votes regardless of party preference qualify for the general election.
Races for Statewide Office
Governor: Gov. Jerry Brown easily advanced to the November general election Tuesday night as two Republicans were locked in a fight for second place in a gubernatorial primary race that had become a proxy for the direction of the California GOP. In the first statewide election under California's new top-two primary system, U.S. Treasury official Neel Kashkari will advance to the November ballot after Assemblyman Tim Donnelly conceded defeat Tuesday night. Brown finished first based on 98 percent of precincts reporting early Wednesday morning, with 54 percent of the vote.
Secretary of State: In the race to become California's next elections chief, Democratic Sen. Alex Padilla will face Republican Pete Peterson in the November election, with both candidates receiving 30 percent of the votes with 98 percent of precincts reporting Wednesday morning.
Superintendent of Public Instruction: The nonpartisan contest has drawn outsized spending in a proxy fight between California's teachers unions and reformers. Incumbent Tom Torlakson faces a fellow Democrat, Marshall Tuck, a former charter school executive backed by reform-minded Democrats and Republicans. Outside groups have spent $4.2 million on the race so far. It is the only statewide race in which a candidate can win outright by getting more than 50 percent of the vote. Torlakson received 47 percent of the votes with 97 percent of princicts reporting early Wednesday morning.
State Controller: The race for state controller was too close to call as of Wednesday morning, with four candidates vying to emerge in the top two. With 98 percent of precincts reporting early Wednesday morning, Fresno Mayor Ashley Swearengin, a Republican, appears to likely be advancing after she received 24 percent of votes. Republican and Certified Public Accountant David Evans unexpectedly garnerned 22 percent of votes, as did Demorat and Former Assembly Speaker John Perez. Democrat and Board of Equalization member Betty Yee received 21 percent of votes.
About 40 statewide offices were on Tuesday's ballot.
Top Races in Los Angeles County
Los Angeles County Supervisor: Former state Sen. Sheila Kuehl will face Kennedy scion and former Santa Monica Mayor Bobby Shriver on the November ballot for the LA County Supervisor District 3 seat. With 91 percent of precincts reporting Wednesday morning, Kuehl received 36% of votes and Shriver received 29 percent of votes. The two beat out six others, including West Hollywood Councilman John Duran who had significant backing. Former Malibu Mayor Pamela Conley Ulich, public watchdog Eric Preven, tutor Yuval Kremer, environmentalist and automotive technician Doug Fay and film lighting technician Rudy Melendez were also running to represent Westside and San Fernando Valley residents.
Hilda Solis, a former Congresswoman and past head of the U.S. Department of Labor, received 70 percent of votes as of Wednesday morning and will take over Gloria Molina's seat in the First District. Solis had Molina's endorsement, key to winning the district that stretches over much of eastern Los Angeles County from downtown to Claremont.
Los Angeles County Sheriff: The LA County Sheriff oversees more than 9,000 deputies who patrol 42 cities and unincorporated areas, in addition to all county courthouses, community colleges, public transit and the county jail system, which is currently under federal investigation for allegations of corruption and abuse. Long Beach police Chief Jim McDonnell, Gardena Mayor and former Undersheriff Paul Tanaka, Assistant Sheriffs Todd Rogers and James Hellmold, LAPD Senior Detective Supervisor Lou Vince, retired sheriff's Cmdr. Bob Olmsted and retired sheriff's Lt. Patrick Gomez were all fighting for the chance to be the county's top lawman. McDonnell held a strong lead early Wednesday morning. With 95 percent of precincts reporting, McDonnell received 49 percent of votes followed by Tanaka, who received 15 percent of votes.
33rd Congressional District: One of the most wide open races was in the 33rd Congressional District, with 17 candidates vying for the position. Los Angeles County Deputy District Attorney Elan Carr, a Republican, will face Democratic state Sen. Ted Lieu in the November general election. The winner of that election will succeed long-time Rep. Henry Waxman.
Top Races in Orange County
State Senate: The 34th District race includes Orange County Supervisor Janet Nguyen and Rancho Santiago Community College District Trustee Jose Solorio. Both will advance to the November election, garnering more votes than candidate Long Pham, a Republican, who was also in the race to succeed termed-out state Sen. Lou Correa, D-Santa Ana.
District Attorney: Attorney Greg Diamond, a former Orange County Democratic Party official, blogger and ex-Occupy activist took on District Attorney Tony Rackauckas. Rackauckas, 71, had not faced a challenger since 2002. Rackauckas will continue as District Attorney, receiving 73 percent of votes with 98 percent of precincts reporting as of Wednesday morning
Board of Supervisors: Supervisor Shawn Nelson, a Republican representing the county's Fourth District, was the only incumbent on the Board of Supervisors facing a challenger -- Rudy Gaona, 40, of Anaheim. Nelson will continue in his role, receving 84 percent of votes. The district stretches from Brea to Anaheim. Several other board seats will be on the Tuesday ballot.
Congressional Races: Voters will choose a new congressional representative to replace the retiring five-term Rep. John Campbell, R-Irvine. State Sen. Mimi Walters, R-Irvine, will face businessman Democat Drew Leavens, 61, in the November election. Other candidates in the campaign were retired Republican Marine Col. Greg Raths, 60, and Buena Park Library District Trustee Al Salehi, who has not declared a party affiliation. Loretta Sanchez, D-Garden Grove, ha four challengers in the 46th District. Sanchez will face Adam Nick in the November election. Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, R-Huntington Beach, has been in office in the 48th District since 1989 and also had four challengers. Rohrabacher will face retired professor and businesswoman Suzanne Savary, a Democrat, in the November election.
Measure A: The ballot measures asked voters whether county elected officials should pay their own pension costs. This measure passed with 88 percent of voters responding in agreement.
Top Races in Riverside County
Congressional Races: Republicans Bonnie Garcia, Jeff Stone, Glenn Miller and Bill Carns are running for the 28th Senate District seat, along with Democrats Anna Nevenic, a nurse, and attorney Philip Drucker. The race was too close to call as of Wednesday morning. Stone received 22 percent of votes, followed by Miller and Garcia, each with 19 percent of votes and less than a 100-vote difference between the two. Coachella Mayor Eduardo Garcia, a Democrat, and Republican and public safety consultant Charles Bennett Jr. are running for the 56th Assembly District seat. Both will be on the November ballot. Republicans Brian Nestande, an assemblyman from Palm Desert, and former state Senator and Assemblyman Ray Haynes were running against incumbent 36th Congressional District Rep. Raul Ruiz, a Palm Desert Democrat. Ruiz and Nestande will compete in the November general election.
Board of Supervisors: Three incumbents faced challenges Tuesday in Riverside County. Supervisor John Benoit will continue in his role, receving 58 percent of votes against termed-out Assemblyman V. Manuel Perez in the primary race in the Fourth District. In the Second District, Supervisor John Tavaglione, entering his 20th year on the Board of Supervisors, will also continue in his role, receiving 72 percent of votes while Jurupa Valley educator Arthur Gonzales received 28 percent. In the Fifth District, Supervisor Marion Ashley will get a fourth term, receiving 67 percent of votes while challenger Mark Anthony Orozco, a Beaumont resident, Pomona-area educator and former member of the Beaumont Unified School District Board of Trustees,received 33 percent of votes.
Sheriff: Sheriff Stan Sniff will serve another four years after he received 63 percent of votes Tuesday night. He faced sheriff's Lt. Chad Bianco, 46. Sniff was appointed to the position in October 2007 following the resignation of then-Sheriff Bob Doyle, and later elected during a 2010 campaign.
District Attorney: Veteran homicide prosecutor Mike Hestrin will take over as Riverside County District Attorne , receiving 55 percent of votes while current Riverside County District Attorney Paul Zellerbach received 45 percent of votes.
NBC4's Samia Khan contributed to this report.