In 2004, Mike Machado won a very hard fought battle against Stockton Mayor Gary Podesto. In a race that went back and forth up until the end, Machado ended up edging out Podesto by a margin of 52.2 to 47.8.
The closeness of that race and competitiveness of the district will likely make this race one of most heavily watched and financed State Senate races in the state. Indeed, the race has drawn a top notch Republican in Assemblyman Greg Aghazarian.
There is however, word now from some people close to the scene that has suggested that neither the Democratic leadership nor Senator Machado himself are convinced that Assemblywoman Wolk can win this seat. Part of that has to do with the southern portion of the district¬the locations that Wolk does not currently represent¬being larger than the north. In addition, that portion is much more conservative than the northern part.
There is thus increasing speculation that Democratic Party leaders are looking around for a top notched successor from the southern portion of the fifth district. Therefore, while Assemblywoman Wolk has dodged one large bullet, she may not escape without a hard fought primary election against a well-financed and party-backed challenger.
—Doug Paul Davis reporting