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Democratic candidates in California withstood the challenges presented by Republicans that their counterparts in many other parts of the country could not on Election Day.
Governor-elect Jerry Brown and U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer fended off the Republican competition in Meg Whitman and Carly Fiorina, both of whom ran high-profile campaigns funded by millions of dollars in private contributions. Brown defeated Whitman by a 53 to 41 percent margin, while Boxer won the race by a 52 to 42 percent margin, according to figures released by the California Secretary of State’s Office. Both Brown and Boxer attended a rally in downtown Los Angeles on Monday, and pledged to work hard for the people of California. Boxer said she would be focusing on issues such as protecting California from off-shore oil drilling, maintaining women’s right to abortion and keeping businesses in California, while Brown said he would focus on creating jobs, building green industries and working with the state senate and assembly to pass the budget on time.
“We have problems from here to Sacramento, and the challenge is going to be getting people out of their comfort zones and finding some common ground,” said Brown, who formerly served as California governor from 1975 to 1983. “We can create 500,000 new jobs over the next ten years. This is California, a place of opportunity, creativity and imagination.”
Democratic candidates also fared well in the local area, where Rep. Henry Waxman defeated Republican candidate C.E. Wilkerson in the 30th Congressional District by 62 to 34 percent. Waxman has been the chair of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, and chair of the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Health and the Environment. In addition, current Assembly Speaker Emeritus Karen Bass defeated her challenger, James L. Andion, in the 33rd Congressional District by an 86 to 13 percent margin. The 33rd District mainly covers South Los Angeles and some areas of Mid-Wilshire and Hollywood.
State Assembly Member Mike Feuer, who has represented the 42nd District since 2006, was re-elected to a third term by a margin of 73 to 26 percent over Republican challenger, Mary Toman-Miller. The 42nd District includes Hollywood, West Hollywood and Beverly Hills, as well as portions of the Westside and the San Fernando Valley. Feuer, who will be forced out of office after the next term because of term limits, said he is excited about continuing the progress he has made in office.
“I am very humbled by the outcome, it’s certainly gratifying to enjoy the strong support of my constituents,” Feuer said. “I plan to continue my focus on the economy and jobs, public education, and the environment and healthcare. Contrary to the national trend, we actually expanded the Democratic base in the Assembly. We now have fifty-two Democratic members, and I am optimistic about the future of working with the governor and my colleagues in the Assembly to get these things accomplished.”
Prop. 19, a ballot measure to legalize, regulate tax and marijuana for people 21 and over, was defeated by a 54 to 46 percent margin. Other ballot measures that passed include a new requirement that a two-thirds vote is necessary in the state legislature to raise state and local fees; that a simple majority in the state legislature is needed to pass the state budget; and that state legislators cannot take money from local governments to balance the budget. Measures that did not pass include a plan to raise vehicle licensing fees to aid state parks; a measure to suspend laws regulating air pollution; a law that would lower business tax liability; and a plan to eliminate the state redistricting commission.
Voter turnout was slightly higher statewide than the previous gubernatorial election. In Los Angeles County, approximately 43 percent of registered voters cast ballots.
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