STATE LEGISLATURE: Dems Take Lion’s Share Of Seats
The San Francisco Chronicle reports that last night "was a huge night for California Democrats as they strengthened their hold on the Legislature and won four statewide offices" (Gunnison/Marinucci, 11/4). If Democrats do maintain control of the state Legislature, the Los Angeles Times reports, it could open the "way for major legislative changes on issues ranging from gun control and health care to education and labor-related policy." State Assembly Speaker Antonio Villaraigosa (D-Los Angeles) said, "For 16 years, it felt like winter in California. Today, we stand on the threshold of springtime -- a time of putting working people first." The Times reports that there were "80 Assembly and 20 state Senate seats at stake" yesterday, but that "control of both houses turned on relatively few contests -- five Senate races and a dozen in the Assembly." The Times reports that "Latinos continued to make gains in the Legislature," with three Latino Republicans winning Assembly seats as results were coming in. Latino Democrats are expected to add one to their group of four (Morain/Vanzi, 11/4). The Times reports separately that with "Democrats controlling the governorship and both legislative houses in Sacramento, the party will enjoy an upper hand in state politics well into the 21st century" (Barabak, 11/4). Click here for previous coverage of health care reform.
Dems Take The Day
The San Francisco Chronicle reports that the "only bright spot for Republicans was Insurance Commissioner Chuck Quackenbush (R), who apparently escaped with his political life" (11/4). Quackenbush, the incumbent, beat Democratic challenger Diane Martinez by a 51% to 43% margin, with half of the state's precincts reporting (Bernstein, Sacramento Bee, 11/4). However, the Los Angeles Times reports, "Democrats managed a clean sweep of the three open constitutional offices." In the race for lieutenant governor, Democrat Cruz Bustamante "handily defeated" Republican Tim Leslie, creating the "first Democratic tandem of governor and lieutenant governor in California in nearly 20 years." In addition, the Times reports, Bustamante become the "first Latino elected to a statewide office in a century." Winning the seat for state attorney general, state Sen. Bill Lockyer (D-Hayward) defeated Deputy Atty. Gen. Dave Stirling (R). With "about half of the state's precincts reporting, Lockyer had 51% of the vote, compared with 44% for Stirling," who has worked under Lungren the past seven and a half years. The Sacramento Bee reports that with "half of the state's precincts reporting, Bustamante had 52%, compared with 40% for Leslie" (11/4).