Early Returns: Democrats could lose super-majority in State Assembly

Early Returns: Democrats could lose super-majority in State Assembly

Young Kim

It’s going to be a very long night for California political observers.

Just eight months after corruption scandals cost California Democrats their super-majority in the State Senate, a combination of low voter turnout and an anemic gubernatorial campaign effort could cost Democrats their super-majority in the California State Assembly.

From the Bay Area to Los Angeles, Republican candidates for State Assembly posted stronger-than-expected results in early election returns. But, it still remains too early to tell whether Democrats will retain their super-majority control of the lower house.

Entering the night Democrats held 55 seats in the lower house of the state legislature, compared to 24 seats for Republicans with one vacancy.

Young Kim wins in Orange County

In the 65th Assembly District, Asm. Sharon Quirk-Silva, D-Fullerton, was losing by double digits to Republican challenger Young Kim, a congressional aide to Rep. Ed Royce. With 32,596 ballots counted as of 10:39 p.m., the first-generation Korean American immigrant held a commanding 15 point advantage. More than $5.2 million had been spent on the race by both candidates, political parties and independent expenditure committees.

Although Democrats have a 1.7 point advantage in voter registration, the district is considered a “lean Republican” seat, according to the ATC Partisan Index, which ranks districts based on their competitiveness in the 2014 election. Kim performed well among absentee voters and benefited from strong support from thousands of Korean voters in the district.

Candidate Votes Percent
* Sharon Quirk-Silva
(Party Preference: DEM)
13,805
42.4%
Young Kim
(Party Preference: REP)
18,791
57.6%

In the 36th Assembly District, Asm. Steve Fox, D-Palmdale, was another first-term Democrat in danger of losing reelection.  With 20,053 ballots counted as of 10:39 p.m., Republican challenger Tom Lackey held a 22 point lead. Republicans dispatched their top ground operatives to the Los Angeles County-based district to make up for a disastrous 2012 campaign, which Republicans let slip away with a weak general election campaign. Fox, who won in 2012 by less than 200 votes, was pummeled this election with damaging mailers that reminded voters of his ongoing legal troubles.

Candidate Votes Percent
* Steve Fox
(Party Preference: DEM)
7,772
38.8%
Tom Lackey
(Party Preference: REP)
12,281
61.2%

If both Quirk-Silva and Fox are defeated, it would mark the first time in two decades that a Democratic incumbent has lost reelection to the state legislature, according to GOP political consultant Matt Rexroad.

“1994 was the last time a Democrat incumbent lost to a Republican in CA Legislature,” Rexroad, an award-winning political consultant tweeted. “Two will lose tonight.”

Parties split open targets

If the current trend holds, the two parties would split a pair of open seats at opposite ends of the state, although it remained too close to call either race.

In the 16th Assembly District, moderate Republican Catharine Baker, an attorney from Pleasanton, was leading Democrat Tim Sbranti, the mayor of Dublin, by five points with 31 percent of precincts reporting, as of 10:39 p.m. If Baker’s lead holds, it would give Republicans enough seats to block the Democrats from reaching a super-majority.

Republicans, who traditionally struggle in the Bay Area, dedicated millions of dollars of their limited campaign funds to the competitive race after a brutal June primary. Aided by millions of dollars in independent expenditures by labor unions, Sbranti, a longtime union activist, defeated moderate Democrat Steve Glazer.

Candidate Votes Percent
Tim Sbranti
(Party Preference: DEM)
25,667
47.8%
Catharine Baker
(Party Preference: REP)
28,054
52.2%

Several hundred miles south, Democrats appeared to have picked up an open seat in the 44th Assembly District that was vacated by moderate Republican Jeff Gorell. The Ventura County-based seat featured an expensive race between Republican Rob McCoy and Democrat Jacqui Irwin. As of 10:39 p.m. with 34 percent of precincts reporting, Irwin led McCoy 51.8 percent to 48.2 percent.

Candidate Votes Percent
Jacqui Irwin
(Party Preference: DEM)
21,278
51.8%
Rob McCoy
(Party Preference: REP)
19,827
48.2%

Other Democratic incumbents in trouble

Other Democratic lawmakers, including those in safe districts, were in danger of losing reelection.

In the 66th Assembly District, Asm. Al Muratsuchi, D-Torrance, held a 303-vote lead over Republican challenger David Hadley with 10 percent of precincts reporting. The South Bay district was expected to be competitive, in part, because of low voter turnout.

Candidate Votes Percent
* Al Muratsuchi
(Party Preference: DEM)
15,299
49.5%
David Hadley
(Party Preference: REP)
15,602
50.5%

Asm. Adam Gray

Asm. Adam Gray

In the 21st Assembly district, Asm. Adam Gray, D-Merced, held a slim four point lead over Republican challenger Jack Mobley. With 86 percent of precincts reporting at 10:39 p.m., Gray had 52 percent to Mobley’s 48 percent.

Republicans largely ignored Republican Jack Mobley’s challenge to Assemblyman Adam Gray. A moderate Central Valley Democrat, Gray endeared himself to the state’s business community by occasionally delivering pro-business votes on hot-button issues. But he’s turning out to be a weak incumbent — so weak that Democrats have dropped more than $310,000 in Gray’s depleted campaign coffers.

Candidate Votes Percent
* Adam Gray
(Party Preference: DEM)
21,836
52.0%
Jack Mobley
(Party Preference: REP)
20,177
48.0%

Three races in safe Democratic districts, in which Republicans spent almost no money, were too close to call.

In the 57th Assembly District, Asm. Ian Calderon, D-Whittier, held a 77 vote lead over Republican Rita Topalian with 30 percent of precincts reporting. Calderon, the son of former Assemblyman Charles Calderon, was weighed down by corruption charges filed against his uncle, outgoing state Sen. Ron Calderon.

Candidate Votes Percent
* Ian C. Calderon
(Party Preference: DEM)
9,525
50.2%
Rita Topalian
(Party Preference: REP)
9,448
49.8%

In the nearby 48th Assembly District, Asm. Roger Hernandez,D-West Covina, was clinging to a four point lead over Republican Joe Gardner with 13 percent of precincts reporting. In June, CalNewsroom.com predicted that the race “has all the makings of a last-minute steal for Republicans.”

Candidate Votes Percent
* Roger Hernandez
(Party Preference: DEM)
7,221
52.2%
Joe M. Gardner
(Party Preference: REP)
6,619
47.8%

In the 39th Assembly District, Asm. Raul Bocanegra, D-Pacoima, held a slim lead over fellow Democrat Patty Lopez with 15 percent of precincts reporting.

Candidate Votes Percent
* Raul Bocanegra
(Party Preference: DEM)
4,401
51.2%
Patty Lopez
(Party Preference: DEM)
4,201
48.8%

14 comments

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  1. LetitCollapse
    LetitCollapse 5 November, 2014, 09:07

    All these Republican victories is testimony of how much the American people hate POTUS Obola. He is like kyptonite to the dems! They were avoiding him as if he were a leper going into these elections. HAH! Remember how the people were bowing down at his feet during his inaugral speech in 2008??? HAH! Remember how the germans lined the streets of Berlin to listen to that goofball talk??? Today he’s about as popular as a nun in a Las Vegas brothel!!! HAH! 😀 Funny how the worm turns, ain’t it? Today you walk on water. Tomorrow you’re a complete and total loser. Go play golf, Obola. Leave us the hell alone. Let Biden run the country. He couldn’t possibly do any worse than what you’ve done! 🙁
    Oh, and congratulations to Young Kim. She knocked off dem Quirk-Silva in a very convincing fashion. Go back to the Fullerton council, Quirk. That should’ve been the last stop for ya. You slipped through the cracks and won a State Assembly seat when the Fullerton council should have been your final stop in the world of politics. Invite Obola to a beer summit and both of you can cry in your beer together!!! HAH! 😀

    Reply this comment
  2. t Mind of Ted Your God
    t Mind of Ted Your God 5 November, 2014, 19:04

    Still disrespecting the President like a child using inappropriate deadly African disease names because you think it’s clever?

    Are you 12— Your upbringing must have been pathetic.

    Reply this comment
    • LetitCollapse
      LetitCollapse 5 November, 2014, 20:01

      Were you raised in a barn? Americans have the inherent right to disrespect a POTUS. There is nothing in the Law that obligates any of us to respect a POTUS. Respect is earned. It’s not a given. Obola hasn’t earned any of my respect. If you don’t like it, move to North Korea. The rules over there seem to conform more with your general character. And don’t forget to take your jack boots with ya! 😀

      Reply this comment
      • SeeSaw
        SeeSaw 5 November, 2014, 20:09

        Get real, LIC. Kim Jung Ill (whatever his name is) just executed a dozen people for watching soap operas. The idea that you would compare any fellow citizen with the tyrants in N. Korea and other murderous governments is beyond disgusting!!

        Reply this comment
        • LetitCollapse
          LetitCollapse 5 November, 2014, 20:35

          Pipe down, sawhorse. Any person living in the USA who criticizes a citizen for disrespecting a politician should be deported to a 3rd world banana republic for the remainder of his existence. It is an insult to all the men and women who died fighting for our precious rights to make such vile assertions. And North Korea would welcome him with open arms. Hand in glove! 🙂

          Reply this comment
      • T Mind of Ted Your God
        T Mind of Ted Your God 5 November, 2014, 21:33

        Little Boy Constipado–

        Of course you have a “right” to be free from gov suppression of speech— duh.

        But you have no right to be free from critique from your fellow citizens for racial, hateful or just plain stupid remarks…you know like the kind you usually make.

        You were obviously not in the military, or you were in the rear with the gear, because if you were you’d know the ethos that you salute the rank, not the man.

        You are a classless fruitcake.

        Reply this comment
        • LetitCollapse
          LetitCollapse 6 November, 2014, 08:26

          “You were obviously not in the military, or you were in the rear with the gear, because if you were you’d know the ethos that you salute the rank, not the man.”

          You’re a complete idiot. If all of us had an obligation to respect the rank of the POTUS there were be no caricature or cartoons showing Obola with elephant ears in the editorial sections of the newspaper. Oh, and I’m not in the miltary anymore and haven’t played that game for decades, you moron. As a civilian, disrespecting the POTUS is as american as apple pie. Go hook up with Denis Rodman and book a flight to NK.

          Reply this comment
  3. SeeSaw
    SeeSaw 5 November, 2014, 20:03

    The election had to do with extreme right vs moderate left. The extreme right went to the polls–the left didn’t care. Obama is a mortal human being–he cannot control everything that is going on in this world. He should have respect as the leader of our country, whether you like his policies or not. Those Democrats who avoided him were from conservative areas and afraid they would lose if they were connected with him–and some of them did lose (I am not up to snuff yet–but I know, Clay Aiken refused Obama’s help and he lost–dumb twerp.)

    Reply this comment
    • LetitCollapse
      LetitCollapse 6 November, 2014, 12:02

      “Obama is a mortal human being–he cannot control everything that is going on in this world. He should have respect as the leader of our country, whether you like his policies or not.”

      The only reason you’re defending the liar/con man is because you were dumb enough to vote for him TWICE!!! HAH!

      If a Republican did what Obola has done you’d be calling for his impeachment!!!

      The dems supported this fraud and elected him to the white house. And NOW the dems are paying a HUGE price for it!!! BOTH HOUSES OF CONGRESS AND THE PRESIDENCY IN 2016!!! HAH!

      But that’s the price one pays for promoting an inveterate liar for high office!!! 😀

      Reply this comment
  4. SeeSaw
    SeeSaw 5 November, 2014, 20:06

    One thing–the Tea Party is on its way to extinction–good!

    Reply this comment
  5. LetitCollapse
    LetitCollapse 5 November, 2014, 20:46

    Obola was like the proverbial turd in the punchbowl to the dem party in the 2014 election. The nation finally figured out that Obola is nothing more than a fraud and a con-man. I knew it in 2008 and tried to warn everybody. 6 years later proved I was right. Obola will go down in history as the only POTUS more unpopular than Jimmy Carter. I bet Jimmy is dancing in figure of eights tonight with Rosalyn on his peanut farm knowing that Obola saved whatever legacy he will leave behind by taking over the cellar slot!! Now Jimmy can pass away in peace!!! HAH! 😀

    Reply this comment
  6. LetitCollapse
    LetitCollapse 5 November, 2014, 22:57

    I even saw some black folks interviewed at a voting precinct on TV tonight who asserted that Obola is ‘half-black’ and not exclusively ‘black’. hah! I knew it would happen sooner or later! Even the brothers are turning on him! 😀

    Reply this comment

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