A Pomona Democrat has narrowly won an open Assembly seat in the Inland Empire in a special election that most voters ignored.
Democrat Freddie Rodriguez, a Pomona city councilman, defeated Ontario Mayor Paul Leon, 51.3 percent to 48.7 percent. Leon, a Republican who re-registered as an independent, would have needed to win more than two-thirds of the 1,064 outstanding votes to overcome the margin.
Rodriguez issued a victory statement late Tuesday, saying he looks forward to representing the 52nd Assembly District, which covers eastern Los Angeles County and western San Bernardino County.
He will replace Democrat Norma Torres, who won a state Senate seat in May.
Turnout was light, with about 7 percent reported in Los Angeles County and a little more than 8 percent in San Bernardino County.
Leon and Rodriguez emerged as the top vote-getters in a nine-way July primary to represent the heavily Democratic district.
This post has been updated.