New York billionaire George Soros and other wealthy donors appeared to come up short in California's primary races Tuesday, as voters appeared to reject liberal candidates they backed in three local races for district attorney.
Incumbents in Sacramento, San Diego, and Alameda counties led by large margins, according to unofficial results posted Wednesday by county elections officials, The Los Angeles Times reports.
A fourth race, in Contra Costa County, could see a runoff in November if results do not change.
Soros and the donors pumped millions of dollars into the three races, the Times reports, and he spent more than $2.7 million in the Golden State so far this cycle.
Overall, Soros has spent more than $16 million in over a dozen races outside California since 2014 — racking up big victories in Florida, Pennsylvania, Texas, and other states.
In the Sacramento County race, Republican incumbent DA Anne Marie Schubert, declared victory with 64 percent of the vote, the Times reports.
Her Soros-backed challenger, Noah Phillips, has yet to concede. He got 36 percent.
In San Diego County, another GOP incumbent, Summer Stephan also won 64 percent of the vote, according to county elections officials.
Her Democratic challenger, Genevieve Jones-Wright, a deputy public defender, took 36 percent.
Soros spent $402,000 backing Jones-Wright in the race.
In Alameda County, longtime Democratic DA Nancy O'Malley appeared to have avoided a runoff, by taking 62 percent of the vote, against fellow party member Pamela Price, who had 38 percent.
According to early returns in Contra Costa County, the only race where Soros backed an incumbent, DA Diana Becton was ahead with 49.6 percent of the vote, the Times reports.
She will face senior deputy DA Paul Graves in the November general election because he received 42 percent.
A candidate must win more than 50 percent to avoid a November runoff.
Regardless of the outcomes, liberal activists told the Times that the outside dollars gave voice to community concerns.
"Win or lose, these campaigns have been a success because they elevated the voices of voters," said Anne Irwin, a former San Francisco public defender who started a nonprofit to help donors identify candidates to support. "The elections reminded the DAs that these are not tenured positions.
"They have to answer to the communities that elect them."
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