Which Local Power Players Win (and Lose) If Biden Bumps Trump

 How a victory for Joe would reshape California’s political power grid
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The outcome of the most consequential presidential election of our lifetime will impact everyone’s lives, but these Southern California figures have a big stake in the result.


They Win If Biden Wins!

 Mayor Eric Garcetti

The longtime Biden pal could wind up with a plum gig in DC. How does Secretary of Transportation Garcetti sound? Presumably better than leading a city with an economy wrecked by COVID-19, although Garcetti recently said it’s “more likely than not” he’ll keep his gig in L.A.

City Council President Nury Martinez

If Garcetti does DC, dominos start to fall in L.A. The city’s first Latina city council president becomes acting mayor.

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Nury Martinez (center) at the Women’s March in 2017

Jerritt Clark/Getty Images

Rick Caruso

The deep-pocketed mall developer has the money and name recognition to be a formidable candidate in a special mayoral election prompted by Garcetti’s big goodbye.

California Secretary of State Alex Padilla

Speaking of dominos, if Senator Kamala Harris becomes Vice President Harris, Padilla, California’s elections boss and a former L.A. councilman, could become California’s first Latino U.S. senator if Governor Gavin Newsom appoints him.

Governor Gavin Newsom

A Biden victory provides an ally in the White House and federal funds for everything from infrastructure to the environment. Bonus: no more incessant @realDonaldTrump Twitter rants.

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Gavin Newsom at a Freedom for Immigrants march in 2018

Emma McIntyre/Getty Images for Families Belong Together LA

Rep. Karen Bass

The L.A.-based chair of the Congressional Black Caucus made Biden’s VP short list, and she’s generating Cabinet-appointment buzz. She’s also a strong contender—along with state Attorney General Xavier Becerra and Congressman Adam Schiff—to finish out Harris’s term.

Tom Steyer

The Bay Area billionaire (and ex-presidential candidate) is a fierce environmentalist and could thrive under a White House that doesn’t believe climate change is a hoax. Watch for Steyer to finagle a climate-policy job under Biden.

Los Angeles River

A $1.1 billion restoration project hatched during the Obama administration requires significant federal funding that dried up the day Trump was inaugurated. Biden could reopen the spigot.


The Lose If Biden Wins!

Larry Ellison

The Oracle cofounder held a $100,000-a-head Trump fundraiser at his Rancho Mirage home, prompting Oracle’s rank and file to pull a work stoppage in protest. The president reportedly repaid him by promoting Oracle as a key investor in TikTok’s parent company. Ellison forfeits that kind of Trumpian log-rolling in a Biden presidency.

Jessica Millan Patterson

The first Latina chair of the California Republican Party takes a pragmatic approach to the job. But GOP elected officials are already vastly outnumbered in state government, and losing the White House further weakens the party’s influence in California.

Peter Thiel

The conservative tech billionaire and early Trump backer has reportedly cooled on the president, thanks to Trump’s disastrous coronavirus response. But don’t expect Biden to throw him any bouquets.

Peter Thiel
Peter Thiel with Donald Trump

Getty Images

Jamie McCourt

One half of the despised former owners of the Dodgers, McCourt donated more than $360,000 to Trump’s 2020 campaign. No surprise, as in 2017, Trump awarded her a lush ambassadorship. A Biden win likely prefigures her return from representing U.S. interests in France and Monaco. Au revoir!

Rep. Devin Nunes

The Tulare congressman, who sued a cow on Twitter and distinguished himself as the most craven Trump water carrier in an adminstration teeming with them, would have to find another proto-authoritarian’s boots to lick after Jan. 20.

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Devin Nunes has been known to sue people who are mean to him on Twitter

Pool/Getty Images

Brian Kennedy

Trump’s official $30 “Make America Great Again” caps are manufactured at Kennedy’s Carson factory. After Jan. 20, Kennedy could presumably reboot with “Keep America Sane Again” hats. Just a suggestion.

Tom Barrack

The head of financial services colossus Colony Capital chaired the president’s financially problematic (and possibly law-breaking) inauguration and welcomed to Trumpworld future felons Paul Manafort and Rick Gates. The Neverland Ranch co-owner supposedly isn’t as tight with Trump as he once was, but a Biden win instantly cancels his Oval Office entrèe.


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