|Republican Janet Nguyen|
The Orange County Supervisor
Crushed the Dem 60% to 40%
for a State Senate seat.
Not Exactly a GOP Wave, but it is better than nothing.
(San Jose Mercury News) - The Democratic Party's bid for a new supermajority in the state Senate has failed, thanks to Republican victories in a few key races, and it was on the way to losing its supermajority in the Assembly on Wednesday morning as elections officials finished counting ballots in pivotal campaigns across California.
Republicans prevailed in two races, one in the Central Valley and the other in Orange County, that were viewed as crucial to preventing Democrats from regaining a python's grip on the Senate.
State Sen. Andy Vidak, R-Hanford, defeated Democratic challenger Luis Chavez, a Fresno Unified School District trustee, in the 14th district, which includes all of Kings County and parts of Fresno, Kern and Tulare counties. The district tilts Democratic among registered voters.
In the 34th district, where Republicans have a slight edge in voter registration, Republican Janet Nguyen, an Orange County supervisor, crushed Democrat Jose Solorio, a former assemblyman. Nguyen will replace termed-out state Sen. Lou Correa, D-Santa Ana.
Leading up to the election, Democrats were expected to maintain their supermajority in the Assembly. But Republicans emerged victorious on Election Day in several closely watched Assembly races, including an Orange County tilt in the 65th Assembly District, where Republican challenger Young Kim took down the Democratic incumbent, Assemblywoman Sharon Quirk-Silva, D-Fullerton.
That defeat, and another in Southern California's 36th Assembly District, left Democrats trailing in their attempt to retain their Assembly supermajority early Wednesday morning.
Two close races will decide the Democrats' fate. If Republicans can hold on to their leads in the 16th and 66th districts, where an unknown number of mail and provisional ballots must still be counted, Democrats will be left with 53 Assembly seats, one short of the threshold for a supermajority.
Assemblyman Al Muratsuchi, D-Torrance, was trailing Wednesday morning in his re-election bid in Los Angeles County's 66th district with 48.6 percent of the vote. Republican challenger David Hadley had 51.4 percent.
|Republican Young Kim defeated the Democrat 56% to 44%.|
In the East Bay's 16th district, Republican Catharine Baker was in position to score a rare Bay Area victory for her party. With 51.9 percent of the vote, Baker had a solid lead over against Democrat Tim Sbranti.
The Democratic Party gained a supermajority in both houses in 2012 but lost its two-thirds control in the Senate this year after three senators, including Bay Area lawmaker Leland Yee, were brought down by corruption scandals. Having a supermajority in both houses would allow Democrats to pass legislation without Republican votes and prevent the GOP from blocking Gov. Jerry Brown's appointments to boards and commissions.
The supermajority threshold is 54 in the Assembly and 27 in the Senate. Going into Tuesday's election, the Democrats had 55 seats and 25 seats, respectively, in those chambers.
In the Bay Area, a couple of Democrat-vs.-Democrat campaigns were tightly contested.
|Republican Catharine Baker is winning her Bay Area |
Assembly race 51.9% to 48.1%.