December 08, 2020
Area(s) of Interest: Advocacy
The California Medical Association (CMA) Political Action Committee (CALPAC) reported wide success in the November 2020 election thanks to the contributions and effort of its physician members. The culmination of a year’s worth of education and political activity by physicians across the state, virtually all candidates financially supported by CALPAC won election to their state legislative seats on November 3 and will be taking their seats when the new term begins on December 7. The bipartisan group of candidates supported spans California’s political spectrum, but shares a common supportive vision for the future of health care with CMA.
In all, CALPAC supported 15 candidates running for open state legislative seats in the November 2020 general election; all 15 were successful. CMA’s Independent Expenditure Committee (IEC) engaged at a higher spending level in six state legislative races; again, all six preferred candidates were successful. The IEC’s work helped a bipartisan group of incumbent legislators – Jordan Cunningham, Tom Lackey, Phil Chen, Tasha Boerner Horvath and Brian Maienschein – all of whom had strong voting records on physician priorities in 2019-20 and did not support Assembly Bill 890, which created two new classifications of nurse practitioners with varying requirements for physician engagement and was strongly opposed by CMA. Multiple incumbents who did vote in favor of AB 890 lost their seats in the November election. The IEC also backed Rosilicie Ochoa Bogh, who won one of the closest races in the state to represent Senate District 23.
The 2020 election results show that CALPAC has been instrumental in developing strong relationships with incoming and returning legislators. The next goal for CALPAC is to translate these victories into advocacy success in 2021 and beyond, while identifying and educating the next wave of future legislators.