How a celebrity-driven scandal will shape the presidential race
NEW YORK — As Hillary Clinton prepares to head to California for the second presidential debate on Tuesday, her rival Donald Trump will have his sights set on a different target: California.
The California attorney general’s race is shaping up to be a fierce battle between two California Democrats vying for the seat vacated by Sen. Barbara Boxer, who died of breast cancer in September.
Boxer, a former chief justice of the California Supreme Court who is widely considered the top law enforcement and prosecutor in the state, was one of the nation’s most powerful prosecutors and the longest-serving woman in state history.
Boxer is seen as a key figure in the Clinton campaign and has already raised money from the Clintons.
But she also faces scrutiny for her ties to the Clintons, and her decision to seek the Democratic nomination for president in 2020.
The California race is a test of California’s progressive and pro-business message, and it’s shaping up as one of several races in the next three weeks that will be contested over a variety of issues.
California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, a Democrat, will face the challenge of running a conservative-leaning state where Republicans hold a slim majority in both chambers of the Legislature and the governor’s office.
Becerres main opponent is Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez, who has raised about $50 million to date, while she has struggled to find a candidate that is not a political outsider, such as Becerras wife, Linda, a nurse and former California Air Force pilot.
Gonzalez, who was a longtime political ally of former President Bill Clinton, has said she will not run for reelection in 2018 because she wants to focus on protecting California from a Trump presidency.
The race is also one of a handful of contests that could determine the fate of the Supreme Court.
Becers primary opponent is State Senator Mark Leno, who is known for his liberal politics and is backed by the California Teachers Association and others.
Becermanas primary opponent, State Senator Nancy Skinner, is the son of a former state senator and is known as a progressive voice in the Legislature.
California voters will go to the polls on Tuesday to elect four state senators to fill the court vacancy that left the justices with only four vacancies.
California voters will also choose a new governor and attorney general, who will be chosen by a state Senate that was not in session this session.
A look at the state’s most competitive Senate races, based on the latest polls from the latest Real Clear Politics average.