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- - - - Mark Twain (Roughing It)

Thursday, April 3, 2014

GOP targets high desert Assembly seat in the Antelope Valley

Democrat Steve Fox - #1 Target
  • Democrat perennial candidate Steve Fox accidentally won a GOP held Assembly seat by only 145 votes in the 2012 Obama landslide.  This makes the district target #1 for the California Republican Party.

A race that has attracted attention in the early going is in the 36th Assembly District that mostly takes in the high desert communities of Los Angeles and Kern Counties along with portions of Canyon Country and north Saugus.

The district is currently represented by Assemblyman Steve Fox, D-Palmdale, who won a super narrow victory in the 2012 election and is running for re-election this year.

GOP Councilman Tom Lackey
Lackey for Assembly
A Changing District  -  The high desert has undergone massive demographic changes in the last 25 years.  Huge numbers of Latinos and African Americans have moved to the desert communities of Palmdale and Lancaster in search of affordable housing and to escape the crime and crowded conditions of Los Angeles.

Latinos have jumped up to 54.4% of the Palmdale's population and 38% in Lancaster.  African Americans have bumped up to 14.8% in Palmdale and 20.5% in Lancaster.

These changes also saw a drop in Republican Party voter registration over the years to the current 37.3%.

Republicans were asleep at the switch in 2012 when Democrats perennial candidate Steve Fox beat the Republican by 145 votes in the Obama landslide election.  Now Republicans are banking on a voter backlash to Obamacare to recapture the seat.

A collection of candidates running as Republicans have emerged to try to retake the seat from the one-term Democrat.

Included the field is GOP Palmdale City Councilman Tom Lackey who is a conservative raised in the small high desert mining town of Boron, Lackey graduated from Boron High School in 1977.

Republican Suzette Martinez
Martinez for Assembly
He is a retired California Highway Patrol sergeant who recently won reelection to a third term on the Palmdale City Council, receiving the highest number of votes among five candidates for two at-large seats.

Lackey is an elected member of the Los Angeles County Republican Central Committee, and a member of the Antelope Valley Republican Assembly.

Lackey has been endorsed by a wide number of Republicans such as Board of Equalization Member George Runner, local State Senator Steve Knight, Congressman Kevin McCarthy, local Congressman Howard P. “Buck” McKeon and Kern County Sheriff Donny Youngblood.

We also have Republican Suzette Martinez, who is currently a board member for the Santa Clarita Valley Latino Chamber of Commerce. 

She has been endorsed by GOP Assemblywomen Shannon Grove, Assemblyman Rocky Chavez, Mayor of Lancaster R. Rex Paris and Senator Tony Strickland (Retired).

Also running is Republican J.D. Kennedy, who is a Marine veteran and former district representative for McKeon.

Another candidate, Kermit F. Franklin, has also signed on to run for the seat as a Democrat.



California State Assembly elections, 2012
Primary election
RepublicanRon Smith15,09735.1%
DemocraticSteve Fox14,16032.9%
RepublicanTom Lackey13,79532.0%
General election
DemocraticSteve Fox66,00550.1%
RepublicanRon Smith65,86049.9%
Democratic gain from Republican


Click map to enlarge
The district is 36.9% Democrat, 37.3% GOP and
25.8% independent and smaller parties.

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