California's 36th Congressional District elections, 2014

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California's 36th Congressional District

General Election Date
November 4, 2014

Primary Date
June 3, 2014

Incumbent prior to election:
Raul Ruiz Democratic Party
Raul Ruiz.png

Race Ratings
Cook Political Report: Lean D[1]

Sabato's Crystal Ball: Lean D[2]

California U.S. House Elections
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2014 U.S. Senate Elections

Flag of California.png
The 36th Congressional District of California will hold an election for the U.S. House of Representatives on November 4, 2014.

Our analysis points to California's 36th Congressional District being a battleground. The district has relatively even numbers of Democratic and Republican voters but has a slight Democratic lean based on past presidential election results. The district was won by President Barack Obama by 3.2 percent in 2012 and 3 percent in 2008. Additionally, incumbent Raul Ruiz is a freshman representative.

Ruiz will face state representative Brian Nestande (R) in the general election on November 4, 2014.

Candidate Filing Deadline Primary Election General Election
March 7, 2014
June 3, 2014
November 4, 2014

Primary: California is one of three states to use a blanket primary, or top-two system, which allows all candidates to run and all voters to vote but only moves the top two vote-getters, regardless of party affiliation, to the general election.[3][4][5]

Voter registration: To vote in the primary, voters had to register by May 19, 2014. For the general election, the voter registration deadline was October 20, 2014 (the 15th calendar day before that election).[6]

See also: California elections, 2014

Incumbent: Heading into the election the incumbent is Raul Ruiz (D), who was first elected in 2012.

California's 36th Congressional District is located in the southeastern portion of the state and includes most of Riverside County.[7]


General election candidates

Democratic Party Raul Ruiz
Republican Party Brian Nestande

June 3, 2014, primary results

Democratic Party Raul Ruiz - Incumbent Approveda
Republican Party Ray Haynes
Republican Party Brian Nestande - State representative[8] Approveda

Primary results

U.S. House, California District 36 Primary, 2014
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngRaul Ruiz Incumbent 50.3% 41,443
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngBrian Nestande 34.8% 28,662
     Republican Ray Haynes 14.9% 12,232
Total Votes 82,337
Source: California Secretary of State

Race background

See also: California's 36th Congressional District elections, 2014

California's 36th Congressional District is a battleground district in 2014 due to the low margin of victory for Democrats in the last election and last two presidential elections. Incumbent Raul Ruiz (D) and Brian Nestande (R) triumphed in the blanket primary over Ray Haynes (R). Ruiz and Nestande will face off in the general election on November 4, 2014.[9]

Incumbent Raul Ruiz (D) is a member of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee's Frontline Program. The program is designed to help protect vulnerable Democratic incumbents heading into the 2014 election.[10]

The National Republican Congressional Committee added Nestande to their "On the Radar" list in November 2013. According to the NRCC, candidates that make this list receive "...the tools they need to run successful, winning campaigns against their Democratic opponents."[11]


Raul Ruiz

Ruiz's campaign website lists the following issues:[12]

  • Jobs and the Economy: "Reduce the deficit in a way that protects working families, retirees, and people who have lost their homes, jobs, and security during the last few years."
  • Breaking Gridlock: "As an Emergency Room physician, I’m trained to focus on solving problems and getting things done. When a patient is in the emergency room, it doesn’t matter whether they’re a Democrat or Republican, or who gets credit for solving the problem; all that matters is fixing the problem. That’s the approach I’ll bring to Congress."
  • Education: "Prepare all our children for success by making college affordable, investing in preschool and vocational training, and fully funding after school programs."
  • Medicare and Social Security: "Always protect Social Security and Medicare from attempts to slash the guaranteed benefits California seniors have paid for and planned on."
  • Standing Up for What's Right: "The executive order to stop deporting young people who were brought here through no fault of their own is very important to me. Congress should stop playing politics and recognize that everyone has an interest in immigration reform."


—Raul Ruiz's campaign website,

Brian Nestande

Nestande's campaign website lists the following issues:[14]

  • Education: "To compete in a global market, our children need the best education possible. It is the key to their future – and America’s. Washington can’t make the decisions for our schools – we need to. I support returning control of education to local leaders, parents, and teachers. We know best what we need for our children and a one-sized-fits-all solution from Washington or Sacramento won’t prepare our children to compete in the global economy."
  • Energy & the Environment: "California’s natural resources are what make it one of the best places to live in America. We all want to protect the environment, protect habitats, and our quality of life. We also need to utilize available energy resources and work to increase supply so that we can drive down prices for working families struggling to make ends meet."
  • Healthcare: "The new federal health care law is proving to be unworkable. What was promised by many to be “free healthcare” will actually force people into insurance exchanges that impose high deductibles and fees costing families thousands of dollars each year without improving the quality of care. In California alone, there are projections of premium increases of as much as 146%. We need to reform health care in a way that increases access and quality of care while reducing costs."
  • Immigration: "There is no country in the world more welcoming to immigrants than America. As we debate a national immigration reform proposal, we need to balance border protection with the plight of immigrants here illegally. We need to pass immigration reform that strengthens control of our borders so we know who is entering the country; we need immigration reform that creates a guest worker program that strengthens our economy; and we need to address a permanent population of people here illegally."
  • Jobs & the Economy: "As our manufacturing base continues to erode and our economy becomes increasingly dependent on technology and the service sector, more and more Californians find themselves left out. We need to rebuild our manufacturing sector, which still provides better quality than any other country in the world. We need to continue to invest in new technologies and biotechnology, which provides good-paying jobs and an important economic engine."


—Brian Nestande's campaign website,

Key votes

Below are important votes the current incumbent cast during the 113th Congress.

HR 644

See also: Bowe Bergdahl exchange

Yea3.png On September 9, 2014, the Republican-run House approved H.R. 644, a resolution condemning President Barack Obama's act of exchanging five Guantanamo Bay prisoners for Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl.[15][16] The House voted 249-163 for resolution, with all Republicans and 22 Democrats supporting the bill. Fourteen Democrats and five Republicans did not vote on the resolution, while all other Democrats opposed its passage.[16] Raul Ruiz dissented from the majority of the Democratic party and voted in favor of the bill.[15][16]

Government shutdown

See also: United States budget debate, 2013

Yea3.png On September 30, 2013, the House passed a final stopgap spending bill before the shutdown went into effect. The bill included a one-year delay of the Affordable Care Act's individual mandate and would have also stripped the bill of federal subsidies for congressional members and staff. It passed through the House with a vote of 228-201.[17] At 1 a.m. on October 1, 2013, one hour after the shutdown officially began, the House voted to move forward with going to a conference. In short order, Sen. Harry Reid rejected the call to conference.[18] Raul Ruiz voted for the stopgap spending bill that would have delayed the individual mandate.[19]

Yea3.png The shutdown ended on October 16, 2013, when the House took a vote on HR 2775 after it was approved by the Senate. The bill to reopen the government lifted the $16.7 trillion debt limit and funded the government through January 15, 2014. Federal employees also received retroactive pay for the shutdown period. The only concession made by Senate Democrats was to require income verification for Obamacare subsidies.[20] The House passed the legislation shortly after the Senate, by a vote of 285-144, with all 144 votes against the legislation coming from Republican members. Raul Ruiz voted for HR 2775.[21]

Campaign contributions

Raul Ruiz

Raul Ruiz (2014) Campaign Finance Reports
ReportDate FiledBeginning BalanceTotal Contributions
for Reporting Period
ExpendituresCash on Hand
April Quarterly[22]April 15, 2013$51,293.74$344,824.88$(100,857.45)$295,261.17
July Quarterly[23]July 15, 2013$295,261.17$423,417.81$(89,322.38)$629,356.60
October Quarterly[24]October 15, 2013$629,356.60$322,183.49$(75,607.15)$875,932.94
Year-End[25]January 31, 2014$875,932$413,723$(91,649)$1,198,007
April Quarterly[26]April 15, 2014$1,198,007$432,340$(113,706)$1,516,641
Pre-Primary[27]May 22, 2014$1,516,641$216,643$(97,073)$1,636,211
July Quarterly[28]July 15, 2014$1,636,211$320,639$(48,427)$1,908,424
October Quarterly[29]October 15, 2014$1,908,424$642,911$(926,849)$1,624,485
Running totals

Brian Nestande

Brian Nestande (2014) Campaign Finance Reports
ReportDate FiledBeginning BalanceTotal Contributions
for Reporting Period
ExpendituresCash on Hand
July Quarterly[30]July 15, 2013$0.00$144,858.93$(8,964.05)$135,894.88
October Quarterly[31]October 15, 2013$135,894.88$76,871.72$(62,181.71)$150,584.89
Year-End[32]January 31, 2014$150,584$229,887$(78,615)$301,856
April Quarterly[33]April 15, 2014$301,856$145,112$(124,226)$322,741
Pre-Primary[34]May 22, 2014$322,741$89,908$(176,530)$236,119
July Quarterly[35]July 15, 2014$236,119$169,472$(170,959)$234,631
Running totals

Ray Haynes

Ray Haynes (2014) Campaign Finance Reports
ReportDate FiledBeginning BalanceTotal Contributions
for Reporting Period
ExpendituresCash on Hand
April Quarterly[36]April 15, 2014$0$14,761$(14,761)$0
Pre-Primary[37]May 22, 2014$0$3,150$(0)$3,150
Running totals

**As of the 2014 Pre-Primary Report, Ray Haynes' committee owed $14,761 in outstanding loans to Ray Haynes.

District history

Candidate ballot accecss
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On November 6, 2012, Raul Ruiz (D) won election to the United States House. He defeated Mary Bono Mack in the general election.

U.S. House, California District 36 General Election, 2012
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngRaul Ruiz 52.9% 110,189
     Republican Mary Bono Mack Incumbent 47.1% 97,953
Total Votes 208,142
Source: California Secretary of State "Official Election Results, 2012 General Election"


On July 12, 2011, Janice Hahn won a special election to the United States House.


On November 2, 2010, Jane Harman won re-election to the United States House. She defeated Mattie Fein (R) and Herb Peters (L) in the general election.[38]

U.S. House, California District 36 General Election, 2010
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngJane Harman incumbent 59.6% 114,489
     Republican Mattie Fein 34.7% 66,706
     Libertarian Herb Peters 5.6% 10,840
Total Votes 192,035

See also

External links


  1. Cook Political Report, "2014 HOUSE RACE RATINGS FOR June 26, 2014," accessed July 28, 2014
  2. Sabato's Crystal Ball, "2014 House Races," accessed July 28, 2014
  3. National Conference of State Legislatures Website, "State Primary Election Types," accessed January 6, 2014
  4. Fair Vote, "Congressional and Presidential Primaries: Open, Closed, Semi-Closed, and 'Top Two,'" accessed January 6, 2014
  5. Ballotpedia research conducted December 26, 2013 through January 3, 2014 researching and analyzing various state websites and codes.
  6. California Secretary of State Website, "Voter Registration," accessed January 3, 2014
  7. California Redistricting Map, "Map," accessed September 25, 2012
  8. My, "Brian Nestande says he'll challenge Rep. Raul Ruiz in 2014," April 9, 2013
  9. The New York Times, "California Primary Results," June 3, 2014
  10. Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, "DCCC Chairman Steve Israel Announces 2013-2014 Frontline Members," accessed March 5, 2013
  11. Roll Call, "House Republicans Put 36 Recruits ‘On the Radar’" accessed November 21, 2013
  12. Campaign website, "Issues," accessed April 24, 2014
  13. 13.0 13.1 Note: This text is quoted verbatim from the original source. Any inconsistencies are attributed to the original source.
  14. Campaign website, "Issues," accessed April 24, 2014
  15. 15.0 15.1 The Hill, "House votes to condemn administration over Taliban prisoner swap," September 9, 2014
  16. 16.0 16.1 16.2 U.S. House, "Roll Call Vote 485," accessed September 10, 2014
  17. Clerk of the U.S. House, "Final vote results for Roll Call 504," accessed October 31, 2013
  18. Buzzfeed, "Government Shutdown: How We Got Here," accessed October 1, 2013
  19. Clerk of the U.S. House, "Final vote results for Roll Call 504," accessed October 31, 2013
  20. The Washington Post, "Reid, McConnell propose bipartisan Senate bill to end shutdown, extend borrowing," accessed October 16, 2013
  21. U.S. House, "Final vote results for Roll Call 550," accessed October 31, 2013
  22. Federal Election Commission, "Raul Ruiz April Quarterly," accessed July 23, 2013
  23. Federal Election Commission, "Raul Ruiz July Quarterly," accessed July 23, 2013
  24. Federal Election Commission, "Raul Ruiz October Quarterly," accessed October 21, 2013
  25. Federal Election Commission, "Raul Ruiz Year-End," accessed February 4, 2014
  26. Federal Election Commission, "Raul Ruiz April Quarterly," accessed April 21, 2014
  27. Federal Election Commission, "Raul Ruiz Pre-Primary," accessed June 3, 2014
  28. Federal Election Commission, "Raul Ruiz July Quarterly," accessed July 23, 2014
  29. Federal Election Commission, "Raul Ruiz October Quarterly," accessed October 20, 2014
  30. Federal Election Commission, "Brian Nestande July Quarterly," accessed July 28, 2013
  31. Federal Election Commission, "Brian Nestande October Quarterly," accessed October 29, 2013
  32. Federal Election Commission, "Brian Nestande Year-End," accessed February 10, 2014
  33. Federal Election Commission, "Brian Nestande April Quarterly," accessed May 5, 2014
  34. Federal Election Commission, "Brian Nestande Pre-Primary," accessed June 3, 2014
  35. Federal Election Commission, "Brian Nestande July Quarterly," accessed July 28, 2014
  36. Federal Election Commission, "Ray Haynes April Quarterly," accessed May 6, 2014
  37. Federal Election Commission, "Ray Haynes Pre-Primary," accessed June 3, 2014
  38. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 2, 2010," accessed March 28, 2013