Politics, government and public life for Southern California

Live blog: Feinstein wins re-election — California, Los Angeles races, measures

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8:54 p.m. Festive atmosphere at Jackie Lacey's Union Station party

Seventies funk blasted through Union Station Tuesday night as several hundred supporters of L.A. County district attorney candidate Jackie Lacey awaited her arrival.

If she wins, Lacey makes history as Los Angeles’ first female and first African-American DA.

Moments ago, the crowd cheered the news that absentee vote tallies (but no precincts reporting) show Lacey ahead with 56.5 percent of the votes to Jackson’s 43.9 percent.

— Stephanie O'Neill

8:49 p.m.: Hopeful scene at Riverside Congressional Candidate Mark Takano's HQ

Supporters of 41st Congressional District Democratic candidate Mark Takano are crowding into the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers union hall in Riverside to watch election results and, they hope, celebrate their candidate’s victory.

In the meantime, the crowd is cheering the projected victory of President Barack Obama. Several notable local Democrats are joining in the celebration including Riverside councilman Andy Melendrez and state Assembly candidate Jose Medina.

Takano, a Rialto high school teacher, is battling longtime Riverside County supervisor John Tavaglione for the open seat in this newly created district. Obama’s victory is sure to dampen the mood across town at Lounge 33 in Riverside, where Republican Tavaglione will be gathering with his supporters.

— Steven Cuevas

8:44 p.m.: Bono Mack supporters wait for results in Rancho Mirage

In the desert, supporters of Mary Bono Mack are hoping the Republican will be returning to Congress for an eighth term.

She’s been locked in a tight race with Democrat Raul Ruiz in a race that has attracted national attention and big money.

Whoever wins will be the first person to represent the newly drawn 36th District, which includes the entire Coachella Valley, the Banning Pass and eastern Riverside County.

Democrats have more registered voters in the district, but only 118 more, helping to explain why this race is so close.

No results have come in yet, so supporters are chatting with each other and watching Fox News on a giant screen.

Already Tuesday night, Bono Mack’s husband, Connie Mack, lost his U.S. Senate bid to Bill Nelson in Florida.

 — Ben Bergman

8:25 p.m.: Sen. Dianne Feinstein wins fourth term by wide margin

California voters decisively endorsed long-serving U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein on Tuesday, sending the powerful Democrat back to the nation’s capital for a fourth term.

Feinstein, 79, handily beat Republican neophyte Elizabeth Emken. California’s senior senator was far better known and better financed than Emken, 49, an autism activist who lacked political experience and the fundraising skills to mount a credible challenge.

The popular former San Francisco mayor campaigned on her legislative record over three terms, especially on the economy and national security, as well as her years in government.

Emken presented herself as a reform-minded outsider, but was ultimately unable to overcome the relentless decline of the California Republican Party and her own lack of experience.

A resident of the San Francisco Bay Area suburb of Danville, Emken remained unknown to most California voters even as she beat 23 other little-known GOP candidates in the June primary.

Feinstein had gathered more than $8.6 million, despite being one of many Democratic candidates and officeholders victimized in an embezzlement scandal involving a former campaign treasurer. In contrast, Emken’s campaign struggled to stay out of the red and had raised roughly $666,000 at the time of the most recent Federal Election Commission filings.

Feinstein, known as a centrist dealmaker, remains one of the most popular and well-known politicians in state history. She has promised to reintroduce the federal ban on assault rifles, leverage her seniority to boost the economy partly through offering tax breaks for innovative businesses and use her position as chairwoman of the Senate Intelligence Committee to halt leaks about sensitive information.

— Judy Lin/AP

6:49 p.m.: Last-minute shenanigans in a Long Beach congressional race: Lowenthal staffer fired for swiping, replacing lawn signs

Democrat Alan Lowenthal is minus one staffer on the last day of his congressional campaign.

Lowenthal's campaign operations director Stephanie Wells was spotted allegedly swiping a lawn sign for the man her boss is running against, Republican Gary DeLong. She reportedly stuffed DeLong signs in the trunk of her car, replacing them with Lowenthal signs.

Wells was told to "go home and wait" pending a campaign investigation — effectively firing her.

The DeLong campaign called to make sure we had the story.

— Kitty Felde

6:45 p.m.: We have separate live blogs for the propositions and the presidential race, but here is your home for the latest on other local races, including the contest for Los Angeles County district attorney, the Senate seat currently held by Dianne Feinstein, Southern California House races, Measures A, B and J and more. Here are some of the races we’ll be focusing on:

30th House District: Howard Berman vs. Brad Sherman

The 30th District has one of the most contentious races, with two sitting Democratic congressmen facing off thanks to redistricting. Their positions aren’t far enough in most areas, but that hasn’t kept them from an intense battle.

44th House District: Janice Hahn vs. Laura Richardson

Another case with two sitting representatives fighting it out thanks to redistricting. Hahn was just elected in July 2011 to fill a spot left by the exiting Jane Harman, but her seat was combined into another district just a month later. Richardson has served in Congress since 2007, and has faced a reprimand from the House Ethics Committee.

45th House District: Mary Bono Mack vs. Raul Ruiz

Democrat Ruiz is a political newcomer, but it’s become a big money race, with more than $3 million raised by the two candidates as he seeks to unseat Republican Bono Mack.

U.S. Senate: Elizabeth Emken vs. Dianne Feinstein

Dianne Feinstein has served in the U.S. Senate since 1992, but she’s facing Republican challenger Elizabeth Emken, who worked for IBM and seeks to reduce the size of government, as well as repealing the Affordable Care Act. Feinstein’s signature issues have been gun control and immigration reform.

Los Angeles County District Attorney: Alan Jackson vs. Jackie Lacey

No matter who wins, we’re going to have a new Los Angeles County district attorney, as current DA Steve Cooley decided not to seek a fourth term. He’s thrown his support behind Chief Deputy District Attorney Jackie Lacey, who faces prosecutor Alan Jackson.

L.A. County Measure A

Los Angeles County Assessor John Noguez is on indefinite leave as he’s investigated for tax bills that were slashed for contributors to Noguez’s campaign. Measure A is an advisory measure that would lead the Board of Supervisors to seek legislation amending how the supervisor is selected, making it an appointed instead of elected position.

L.A. County Measure B

Measure B would make wearing condoms mandatory in porn films.

L.A. County Measure J

Measure J would extend a 0.5 percent sales tax to fund public transportation projects, allowing Metro to bond against $90 billion in expected future revenue. Instead of the sales tax sunsetting in 2039 as before, it would extend the tax to 2069.

— Mike Roe with KPCC staff

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