Politics, government and public life for Southern California

Dababneh wins San Fernando Valley Assembly seat

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Democrat Matt Dababneh has won the special election to represent the 45th Assembly District in the northwest San Fernando Valley, enabling the Democratic party to reclaim a two-thirds supermajority in the California State Assembly.

Tuesday's initial count left him with a slim lead of 173 votes as Republican Susan Shelley made a strong showing in the Democratic-dominant district. Following the final count of provisional and absentee ballots, Dababneh's lead increased to 329 votes. The district has about a quarter-million registered voters, and turnout for the election was about 12 percent.

Dababneh is a staffer for Congressman Brad Sherman. He was running for a vacancy created when Bob Blumenfield left to take a seat on the Los Angeles City Council.

California Democratic Party Vice Chair Eric C. Bauman said: "This victory restores our supermajority in the Assembly.  We look forward to working with Assembly Member-Elect Dababneh to move the San Fernando Valley forward."

The Democrats secured broad taxing and legislative powers when they achieved a supermajority of members in both houses in the November 2012 election, but it slipped away from the Assembly as various members retired or won other offices, creating vacancies.  Special elections costing taxpayers millions of dollars have been held since then to fill those slots.

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