Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations
Watch Live


California Counts: What Do You Want To Ask Our US Senate Candidates?

Shown left to right are U.S. Senate candidates Kamala Harris, Loretta Sanchez, Duf Sundheim, Tom Del Beccaro and Ron Unz.
Courtesy photos
Shown left to right are U.S. Senate candidates Kamala Harris, Loretta Sanchez, Duf Sundheim, Tom Del Beccaro and Ron Unz.

California Counts is a collaboration of KPBS, KPCC, KQED and Capital Public Radio to report on the 2016 election. The coverage focuses on major issues and solicits diverse voices on what's important to the future of California.

In the months leading up to California's primary election, we've been closely following our state's U.S. Senate campaign.

U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer is retiring, and KPBS will host a live debate May 10 with the top five candidates running to replace her. California Attorney General Kamala Harris, Rep. Loretta Sanchez, Duf Sundheim, Tom Del Beccaro and Ron Unz will answer questions on the economy, immigration, healthcare, crime and policing.


We'll also be incorporating one question from you: our audience. You can share your questions on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter using the hashtag #CAcounts. We're accepting questions through April 22. Then, we'll tally up the responses, and give you a chance to vote on which one we should ask the night of the debate.

Harris is the Democratic Party's pick to fill the seat that will be vacated when Boxer retires. Boxer has held the seat for 24 years. Harris favors national climate change legislation, backs immigration reform and supports President Barack Obama's plan for free tuition at community colleges. Orange County Congresswoman Sanchez is also a Democrat. Sanchez describes her platform for the Senate as pro-environment, pro-labor and pro-civil rights.

RELATED: US Senate Race Shaping Up As A Harris-Sanchez Match

Sundheim, a former state GOP chairman and lawyer, backs gay rights, abortion rights and immigration reform. Del Beccaro is also a former state GOP chairman and lawyer. He has said his campaign is focused on California's water issues and prosperity.

Newcomer Ron Unz is a Republican entrepreneur, writer and publisher based in the Bay Area. He said his main issue will be preserving Proposition 227, the ban on bilingual education that he sponsored in 1998.


The debate is part of California Counts, an election coverage initiative by the state’s leading public media newsrooms — KPBS in San Diego, KPCC in Los Angeles, KQED in San Francisco and Capital Public Radio in Sacramento.

The debate will air live at 7 p.m. May 10 on KPBS TV and KPBS 89.5/97.7 FM and stream on And check out KPBS' Facebook page around 5:30 p.m. that night for a special live pre-show.

Copyright 2016 KPBS. To see more election coverage, visit

Corrected: July 14, 2024 at 10:34 PM PDT
This story has been updated to reflect the addition of candidate Ron Unz.