State Senate Races

The California State Legislature is made up of two houses; the Senate is the upper house, and is comprised of 40 representatives. Each State Senator represents about 800,000 people, and receives an annual salary of $75,600 (senators who serve in leadership positions earn between $83,160 - $90,720). A State Senator is elected to a four-year term, and is limited to serving two terms. California's legislative districts are "nested," so that one Senate district is comprised of two Assembly districts.

Every two years, half of the senate seats come up for election; this year, voters who live in odd-numbered senate districts will vote in senate races. If you live in an even-numbered senate district, the next election for that seat will take place in 1998.

Democrats have controlled the State Senate since 1970, but this year the Republicans are putting up a strong fight to win the majority of seats necessary to take control of the upper house. Several State Senate districts are targeted by the Democratic and Republican parties as "contested," which means that the major-party candidates running in those districts are likely to receive strong financial and non-monetary support from legislative leaders and powerful interest groups. If you live in one of these targeted districts, you are likely to receive more mail and phone calls from the campaigns than those who live in districts that are not targeted by the major parties.

Below is a list of the 20 Senate races; each file contains a list of the candidates running in each district, their party affiliation, occupation and contact information. You will also find here links to candidates' web sites, which typically feature campaign literature, endorsement lists, position papers, and information about how to contribute or volunteer.

If you're not sure which district you live in, the California Voter Foundation has compiled some information to help you find out. Links to other web sites featuring additional information and resources about the State Senate races are also available.

State Senate Races

[01] - [03] - [05] - [07] - [09] - [11] - [13] - [15] - [17] - [19] - [21] - [23] - [25] - [27] - [29] - [31] - [33] - [35] - [37] - [39]


The California Online Voter Guide is a project of
the California Voter Foundation.