NorCal Vice Mayor Who Once Called Gay Men ‘Fairies’ Ousted as State Awaits Remaining Election Results

Voters cast their ballots at a Masonic Lodge in Los Angeles on June 5, 2018. (Credit: Mario Tama/Getty Images)

Voters cast their ballots at a Masonic Lodge in Los Angeles on June 5, 2018. (Credit: Mario Tama/Getty Images)

With a handful of House races still too close to call by Wednesday afternoon, California is still awaiting the outcome of the 2018 midterm elections.

The following are live updates on the state’s elections (PST):

12:53 p.m.

A Northern California vice mayor who was widely criticized for calling gay men “fairies” was ousted from office in a landslide vote.

The Sacramento Bee reports that Ted Hickman was defeated for Dixon City Council District 2 by the city’s planning commissioner, Jim Ernest, who won 72 percent of the vote in Tuesday’s election.

Hickman wrote a June 29 column in Dixon’s Independent Voice newspaper that called for a “Straight Pride” month and called gay men fairies. He also wrote that gay people have an “inferior complex.”

The column sparked immediate calls for Hickman’s resignation from residents and Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg.

Hickman defended his comments as tongue-in cheek.

Dickman served two consecutive terms on the City Council, from 1968 to 1976, and again from 2014 to present.

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12:49 p.m.

California voters are authorizing $6 billion in bond funding for affordable housing as the state faces a severe housing shortage.

Proposition 1 passed Wednesday with 54 percent of the vote in California’s midterm election. It authorizes $4 billion in bond funding to house low-income people and veterans.

It joins Proposition 2 that passed with a wider margin and authorizes $2 billion in bond funding to house homeless people with mental illness.

The ballot measures are intended to help ease California’s housing shortage and high rates of homelessness. A third measure also aimed at alleviating the housing crisis by allowing more rent control failed.

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12:26 p.m.

Democrat Mike Levin has claimed the seat of retiring California Republican Rep. Darrell Issa.

The victory adds to Democratic control of the House and carries symbolic weight because of Issa’s nearly two-decade tenure, during which he was a chief antagonist for President Barack Obama.

Issa announced he would step down after surviving his 2016 race by 1,600 votes, as the once solidly Republican 49th District became more Democratic.

Levin, an environmental attorney, had sparred with Republican rival Diane Harkey over President Donald Trump’s agenda, global warming and immigration.

Harkey, a former state lawmaker, was endorsed by Trump.

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10:08 a.m.

Four battleground House districts in the one-time Republican stronghold of Orange County, California, remain too close to call.

National Democrats targeted four GOP-held seats that fall partly or completely in Orange County, a tract of suburbs and small cities near Los Angeles that for years was conservative holy ground.

Votes tallied so far from Tuesday’s election show Republican Young Kim holding a 3-point edge over Democrat Gil Cisneros in the 39th District.

In the 49th District, Republican Diane Harkey is trailing Democrat Mike Levin by about 5 points.

Republican Rep. Mimi Walters has a slim edge over Democrat Katie Porter in the 45th District, but 15-term Republican Dana Rohrabacher is behind Democrat Harley Rouda in the 48th District.

Counting continues Wednesday, with thousands of ballots waiting to be tallied.

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10:03 a.m.

California Republican Rep. Duncan Hunter has won a sixth term despite facing federal corruption charges.

Hunter beat first-time Democratic candidate Ammar Campa-Najjar on Wednesday in a deeply red San Diego-area district.

The GOP incumbent has 54 percent of 123,000 votes cast, giving him an 8-point lead over Campa-Najjar.

Few incumbents in U.S. history have been re-elected while indicted and the race was considered a fresh test of partisanship during the era of President Donald Trump.

Campa-Najjar, a 29-year-old former Obama White House aide, was largely unknown until the race drew wide attention when Hunter and his wife were indicted in August.

The couple has pleaded not guilty to allegations of illegally spending more than $250,000 in campaign money for personal expenses — from family trips to tequila shots.