Represent! | Politics, government and public life for Southern California

Southern California Assembly races — slam dunks to squeakers

All 80 of California's State Assembly seats were on Tuesday's ballot in contests that ranged from slam-dunks to squeakers.  Some of the races got pretty rancorous, too.

The citizen-led redistricting made many races more competitive than they had been in years. Changes in California law also led several districts to have general election runoffs featuring candidates from the same party.

Sacramento Bee reporter Torey Van Oot tweeted that Assembly Speaker John Perez told her he expected Democrats to secure a two-thirds majority in the lower house. Such a supermajority would remove the ability of Republicans to block Democratic budget votes.

Here's a rundown of some of the more competitive and noteworthy Southern California Assembly races. Complete results also on our results page.

--Assembly District 39: San Fernando Valley: Richard Alarcon (D) / Raul Bocanegra (D)
The voter fraud charges hanging over the head of Los Angeles City Councilman Alarcon seemed to take a toll. Bocanegra knows how Sacramento works — he's worked as legislative director for state senators.

--Assembly District 47: Rialto: Joe Baca Jr. (D) / Cheryl R. Brown (D)
How many Bacas will lose in this election? Baca Jr., son of the Ontario Congressman who was in his own tight battle Tuesday night, was trailing longtime newspaper publisher Brown.

BACA: 44%; BROWN: 56%

--Assembly District 49: Alhambra: Matthew Lin (R) / Edwin "Ed" Chau (D)
The race to represent this newly-drawn district in the San Gabriel Valley — the state's first majority Asian legislative district — has been bitter. Lin sued Chau over publicizing Lin's wife's Social Security number in mailers, and Rep. Judy Chu demanded Lin stop using her name in ads. The district includes San Gabriel, San Marino and Monterey Park.
LIN: 45%; CHAU: 55%

--Assembly District 50: Santa Monica: Betsy Butler (D) / Richard Bloom (D)
 Incumbent Butler faced Santa Monica Mayor Richard Bloom in another Democrat-versus-Democrat race, so the outcome will not alter the state party balance of power. She has led in fundraising and in support from labor groups.
BUTLER: 48%; BLOOM: 51%

--Assembly District 51: Silver Lake/Echo Park: Jimmy Gomez (D) / Luis Lopez (D)
California's top-two election law pitted these two Democrats against each other. Both have Harvard School of Government degrees and health care industry jobs on their résumés, with Lopez working for a chain of health clinics and Gomez as political director for a nurse's union.
GOMEZ: 60%; LOPEZ: 40%

--Assembly District 57: La Habra Heights: Noel A. Jaimes (R) / Ian Charles Calderon (D)
Calderon looks to inherit the seat of his termed-out father, Charles Calderon. The district includes Norwalk, Santa Fe Springs, Whittier.

--Assembly District 65: Fullerton: Chris Norby (R) / Sharon Quirk-Silva (D)
With all precincts counted, Quirk-Silva appeared to have won this squeaker, with not quite 1,000 more votes than incumbent Norby. This was a district where Democrats and Republicans had nearly equal numbers, adding importance to the substantial non-partisan vote.
NORBY: 49.5%; QUIRK-SILVA: 50.5%