Patricia Bates

Key Facts

Party N/A; nonpartisan election
Status Challenger


Patricia Bates received a B.A. in psychology from Occidental College. She has been a CA State Senator since 2014, representing District 36, and was the State Senate Republican Leader from 2017 to 2019 [2, 5]. She is the Vice Chair of the State Senate Committees on Appropriations, Environmental Quality, Housing, Rules, and Transportation [6]. Bates previously served as a California State Assemblymember for 6 years, on the Orange County Board of Supervisors for 7 years, and as a City Councilmember and Mayor of Laguna Niguel for 9 years. She was the Founder and President of the California Women’s Leadership Association and was appointed to serve on former Gov. Schwarzenegger’s CA Performance Review Commission [1].

Bates lives in Laguna Niguel with her husband. They have two children and four grandchildren [5].

Key Issues


Bates wants the county to work with South County cities to rezone at unoccupied commercial and industrial land for mixed-used and emergency housing. She wants to work with the County Planning and Public Works Department to waive or lower fee structures for projects with affordable housing. She supports local control regarding housing development plans [3].


Bates supports adding fentanyl to the list of dangerous drugs, implementing stricter penalties for drug trafficking, and increasing education requirements regarding the dangers of drug use and abuse for those serving time or probation for drug trafficking [3]. 


Bates supports providing funding to local governments to protect homes from coastal bluff collapse, provide sand replenishment for beaches, and protect coastal rail lines and roadways. She does not support the California Coastal Commission’s Managed Retreat policy [3]. As a State Senator she voted against increasing greenhouse gas emission restrictions, prohibiting single-use plastics, and preventing oil wells from being constructed near homes, schools, and hospitals [8]. 


Bates supports removing homeless individuals and camps from streets and neighborhoods [1]. She wants to audit homelessness reduction programs to determine which programs to invest in [3].

Law Enforcement

Bates opposes decreasing police funding [1]. As a State Senator, she voted against prohibiting police from using tear gas against protestors, establishing Sheriff oversight boards, and prohibiting private prisons. She voted in favor of expanding the list of individuals prohibited from purchasing firearms [8].


Bates supports authorizing aging service provider agencies to share information to streamline access to services, develop coordinated case plans, and provide support to caregivers [1]. 


As a State Senator, Bates voted against recognizing nonbinary as an official legal gender, requiring age appropriate comprehensive sex education, and allowing incarcerated transgender individuals to be housed according to gender identity [8].


Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association PAC; The Orange County Register; California Congress of Republicans – OC; Lincoln Club of Orange County; Mimi Walters, Congresswoman (Ret.); Young Kim, Congresswoman; Michelle Steel, Congresswoman; Scott Wilk, State Senate Republican Leader; Rosilicie Ochoa-Bogh, State Senator; Jim Nielson, State Senator; Shannon Grove, State Senator; Mari Barke, Orange County Board of Education President; Anna Bryson, Former Capistrano Unified School District Trustee, Dave Harrington, Aliso Viejo Councilman; Gene James, San Clemente Mayor; San Clemente Mayor Gene James; San Clemente Councilmember Kathleen Ward; Laguna Hills Councilmember Erica Pezold; Laguna Hills Mayor Mel Carruth (Former); Laguna Niguel Councilmember Gary Capata (Former); Laguna Niguel Mayor Linda Lindholm (Former); Dana Point Councilman Jim Lacy (Former); Dana Point Mayor John Tomlinson (Former); OC Assistant Sheriff Steve Kea (Ret.)


1 Campaign Website

2 Ballotpedia

3 Dana Point Times

4 Twitter

5 State Senate Website

6 Cal Matters

7 Facebook

8 Vote Smart