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Only in California: Democrats on offense in Assembly races

October 15, 2010 | 11:54 am

While the storm clouds are gathering for national Democrats, here in California, Democrats are hoping to add to their majority in the state Assembly.

Polls show Assemblywoman Alyson Huber (D-El Dorado Hills), who won a narrow victory over Republican Jack Sieglock in a banner Democratic year two years ago, has opened a wide lead over Sieglock this time around. And in a Sacramento-area seat long held by Republicans, Democrat Richard Pan has raised more than $1.4 million in his race against Republican Andy Pugno, one of the authors of Proposition 8, the 2008 measure that outlawed same-sex marriage. The race between Pugno and Pan has turned into one of most hotly contested races this year. In the last week, Democrats have moved more than $400,000 into Pan's campaign, mostly through the state and various county Democratic Party committees.

Republicans see the race between incumbent Democrat Joan Buchanan (D-Alamo) and San Ramon Mayor Abram Wilson as their best chance for a pickup this fall. That race is also a rematch of the 2008 election. More than $3.5 million was spent on the campaign in 2008.

-- Anthony York in Sacramento