Democratic supermajority in Legislature still out of reach late Election Night

Sacramento_CapitolA Democratic supermajority in the state Legislature remained elusive Tuesday night, according to early returns.

With a supermajority, Democrats would be able to increase taxes, override gubernatorial vetoes and send measures to the ballot without Republican support. Democrats need two seats in the Assembly and one in the Senate in order to hold a supermajority — both chambers are a must.

Holding in the Senate

Around 2 a.m., Republicans were holding their seats in the Senate. The biggest question mark was the Southern California seat held by Bob Huff, the termed-out, former Republican leader. However, Republican Assemblywoman Ling Ling Chang led Democrat Josh Newman, 51.6 percent to 46.4.

But Republicans were behind in their best chance to pickup in the Senate, in the seat held by termed-out Sen. Carol Liu, D-La Cañada Flintridge, where Mike Antonovich, a termed-out Los Angeles County supervisor, trailed Democratic former Assemblyman Anthony Portantino by almost nine percentage points.

Losing in the Assembly

In the Assembly, Democrats were ahead in a few competitive interparty races. In the Los Angeles South Bay, Republican Assemblyman David Hadley trailed the man he knocked out of office in 2014, Al Muratsuchi, by almost seven points.

In another rematch from 2014, Young Kim, the Orange County Republican incumbent, trailed Sharon Quirk-Silva by just a few hundred votes. 

Democratic challenger Sabrina Cervantes had a slight, two-point lead over Eric Linder, the Republican incumbent, in this south Inland Empire district.

But some Republican incumbents were holding their ground. In yet another rematch, this time in the Antelope Valley, Republican Assemblyman Tom Lackey led Democrat Steve Fox, who Lackey bested in 2014 by 13 points. 

In San Bernardino County, Republican incumbent Marc Steinorth was pulling away from challenger Abigail Medina, a Democrat. Steinorth led by five points.

And Catharine Baker, the only Republican incumbent in the Legislature from the Bay Area, beat back challenger Cheryl Cook-Kallio by nearly a dozen points to retain her seat.  

The Baker seat was considered a the top target for Speaker Anthony Rendon, D-Paramount. In fact, President Barack Obama endorsed Baker’s Democratic challenger, Cook-Kallio, as well as three others: Newman, Medina and Muratsuchi. 

None of these competitive seats were called by the time this story was published, so the results may change. We’ll update accordingly. 

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