On politics in the Golden State

Category: primary elections

Muratsuchi and Huey win in South Bay Assembly contest

Click for live results from the California primary

Democrat Al Muratsuchi and Republican Craig Huey emerged as winners in a hotly contested South Bay Assembly race.

Muratsuchi is a Torrance Unified School District board member and Huey is a businessman.  They  bested another Republican, aerospace engineer Nathan Mintz, to face off in November for a district that both major parties believe they can win.

The contest will be one of the most competitive in the state, in a newly drawn swing district, the 66th. Voters there have toggled for decades across the political divide.

LIVE RESULTS: California primary

Host to Southern California's once-robust aerospace business, the area was home to many so-called Reagan Democrats of the 1980s.

Politically, the district mirrors the nation as a whole, its loyalties divided roughly evenly between Republicans and Democrats. Unlike most of the state, where Democrats outnumber Republicans 44% to 30%, registration here is split closely, 38% to 35%.

With Torrance at its center, the district includes the environment-conscious beach cities south of LAX, an ExxonMobil refinery and the U.S. headquarters of Toyota and Honda.


Election day: Legislative races to watch

A statistical snapshot of California's primary

New rules, low turnout mark state's primary election

-- Jean Merl

Photo: A voter carries his ballot after voting in the Wisconsin recall election. Credit: Scott Olson / Getty Images

Voters split on Proposition 29 tobacco tax

Click for map of Proposition 29 results

Even with more than half the state's precincts reporting, Proposition 29 was too close to call well after midnight Wednesday. Californians were split on whether to raise cigarette taxes by $1 a pack to fund cancer research.

State voters have not approved a tobacco tax at the ballot box in 14 years. The Legislature hasn't raised tobacco taxes since 1994.

MAP: Prop 29 cigarette tax results

Proposition 29 would raise an estimated $860 million a year, according to an estimate by the nonpartisan state legislative analyst's office.

The money would be for research on prevention, diagnosis, treatment and potential cures for tobacco-related diseases, including cancer, heart disease and emphysema; for building or leasing facilities; and for law-enforcement programs to reduce illegal sales to minors and smuggling.

INTERACTIVE MAP: California primary results

Proponents said the measure would save lives. Opponents called it a bureaucratic boondoggle.

The funds would be administered by a new nine-member Cancer Research Citizens Oversight Committee with four members appointed by the governor, including three from a designated California cancer center; two chosen by the state director of public health; and three others from a University of California campus.ALSO:

Steinberg questions Brown's wildfire proposal

Lawmakers decline to reduce penalties for meth, heroin possession

NYC's Mayor Bloomberg ponies up for California anti-smoking measure

Photo: A woman smokes a menthol cigarette in 2010. Credit: Joe Raedle / Getty Images

Hahn-Richardson congressional primary just the first round

Congresswoman Janice Hahn greets a supporter during an election party at the Ports O'Call restaurant

With just two candidates on the primary ballot for a newly drawn Los Angeles County congressional seat, the only real question that Tuesday's voting would settle was how wide a margin separated Democratic Reps. Janice Hahn and Laura Richardson as they head into the November general election.

With about half of the precincts reporting, Hahn, of San Pedro, was besting Richardson, who recently moved into the district from Long Beach, by 20 points.

The 44th Congressional District, which stretches northeast from San Pedro to Lynwood and South Gate, is strongly Democratic. It was created, under the federal Voting Rights Act, to help ensure the election of an African American, including Richardson. But the independent citizens commission that redrew the state's political maps last year put the home of Hahn, who is white, into the district and she decided to seek reelection there.

LIVE RESULTS: California primary

Hahn, who served on the L.A. City Council, won a special election to Congress just last year. Richardson won her congressional seat in a hard-fought special election in 2007. She was dogged by investigations into her personal finances while she was in the state Assembly and now faces a House Ethics Committee investigation into whether she illegally used her congressional staff members to perform campaign work.

The largely blue-collar minority district -- Latinos make up the biggest group -- also includes Carson and Compton and features one of the few races in the state in which the November field was set even before the primary.


A statistical snapshot of California's primary

Habitual voters head to polls on a slow election day

New rules, low turnout mark state's primary election

-- Jean Merl

 Photo: Rep. Janice Hahn greets a supporter during an election party at the Ports O'Call restaurant Tuesday in San Pedro. Credit: Bret Hartman / For The Times

Denham and Hernandez win in Central Valley congressional race

Click for live results from the California primary

Central Valley voters were choosing Republican Rep. Jeff Denham and former NASA astronaut Jose Hernandez, a Democrat, to compete for a newly drawn congressional district this fall.

Although the 10th Congressional District leans Republican because of its conservative voting patterns, Democrats enjoy a small registration edge. The district was expected to become a battleground as the two parties fight for control of the House of Representatives.

There was no incumbent House member living within the district until Denham changed residences to seek reelection there. Democrats recruited Hernandez, who drew a lot of attention when he returned to the district to announce his run.

LIVE RESULTS: California primary

Chad Condit, son of former Democratic Rep. Gary Condit, ran as an independent. He didn’t have nearly as much in his campaign treasury as Denham and Hernandez, but the former political consultant and state Senate aide had a good campaign organization and strong name recognition.

The other candidate running with no party affiliation was Troy McComak, a small business owner and former research and development scientist for an environmental cleanup firm. Another Democrat in the race was lawyer and certified public accountant Michael J. Barkley.

District registration is 41% Democratic, 38% Republican, and 16% of voters state no party preference.

Voters approved the 2008 gay marriage ban by a two-to-one margin in this district and in 2010 chose Republicans Meg Whitman and Carly Fiorina over Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown and Sen. Barbara Boxer, respectively.


Sherman leads Berman in USC poll of Valley voters

Habitual voters head to polls on a slow election day

Campaign for part-time lawmakers continues to stall

--Jean Merl

Photo: A voter casts his ballot in Venice in 2010. Credit: Al Seib / Los Angeles Times

Two vie to take on Rep. Capps in Central Coast race

Rep. Lois Capps (D-Santa Barbara), left,former Lt. Gov. Abel Maldonado (R-Santa Maria), middle, GOP actor Chris Mitchum of Santa Barbara, right.

Former Lt. Gov. Abel Maldonado jumped to an early lead Tuesday over actor Chris Mitchum for the chance to take on Rep. Lois Capps (D-Santa Barbara) in the fall.

Early returns showed Capps with nearly half the vote.  Maldonado was running well ahead of Mitchum  for the second spot on the November ballot.  Both are Republicans.

A serious reelection challenge to Capps was almost assured after an independent commission last summer redrew her district, which was once Democrat-friendly but was also derided as the "ribbon of shame" for its blatantly gerrymandered shape along the coast.

LIVE RESULTS: California primary

In the new district, Democrats have only a slight edge over Republicans, 39%-35%, and a fifth of voters are not affiliated with a political party.

Maldonado, a former state senator who angered his party by voting in 2009 to raise taxes to balance the state budget, had the backing of Republican leaders for the congressional race.

The more conservative Mitchum, son of the late actor Robert Mitchum, campaigned on a hard line against illegal immigration, the Obama healthcare plan and more taxes.

Also on the ballot in the 24th Congressional District was law student Matt Boutte, who ran with no party preference.



What motivates Big Tobacco

The political sands are shifting in California

Obama, not issues, is the draw for some L.A. voters

--Jean Merl 

Photo:  Rep. Lois Capps (D-Santa Barbara), left,former Lt. Gov. Abel Maldonado (R-Santa Maria), middle, GOP actor Chris Mitchum of Santa Barbara, right. Credit: Los Angeles Times; Associated Press; Los Angeles Times

Three battling for Ventura County congressional seat

Linda Parks, left, Julia Brownley, center, Tony Strickland, right.

The tally of absentee ballots in  the race for a Ventura County congressional district seat showed Republican state Sen. Tony Strickland  in front with more than half the vote and state Assemblywoman Julia Brownley, a Democrat, and Ventura County Supervisor Linda Parks battling for the second spot on the November ballot.

Under the state's new "top two" primary system, all the candidates appear on the same ballot and only the first-and second-place finishers Tuesday, regardless of any party affiliation, can advance to the November general election.

Republican leaders recruited Strickland, hoping he can replace retiring Rep. Elton Gallegly (R-Simi Valley) and with no other member of that party on the ballot to split the vote, most observers expected Strickland, of Moorpark, to win a place in the fall election.

LIVE RESULTS: California primary

Brownley, of Oak Park and Parks, of Thousand Oaks, who recently switched her registration from Republican to no party preference,  were  widely expected to duke it out for the second spot on the fall ballot.

Three other Democrats threatened Brownley's chances to unify her party's vote in the 26th Congressional District. They  were Realtor/entrepreneur Albert Maxwell Goldberg of Ventura,Oxnard Harbor Commissioner Jess Herrera and businessman David Cruz Thayne of Westlake Village.

National Democratic groups spent money to support Brownley and oppose Parks.  Parks got some help from icPurple, an independent expenditure committee that supports nonpartisan candidates.



The political sands are shifting in California

Voters torn in battle between Berman-Sherman

New rules, low turnout mark state's primary election

--Jean Merl

Photo: Linda Parks, left, Julia Brownley, center, Tony Strickland, right. Credit: Stephen Osman / Los Angeles Times; Handout; Bryan Chan / Los Angeles Times

California polls close, and the vote counting begins

Click for live results from the California primary

If you still want to vote in Tuesday's California primary, you're too late. The polls closed at 8 p.m., and candidates are huddling around the state to watch the results trickle in.

As the votes are counted, the Los Angeles Times will be updating its interactive graphic throughout the night.

Plus, reporters will discuss the results every half hour in a video chat.

LIVE RESULTS: California primary

Political observers will be closely watching how new primary rules and redrawn legislative districts affect Tuesday's outcomes.

Although more than 17 million people were registered to vote, and a new poll predicted only 35% would actually cast ballots, a record low.

In Los Angeles County, perhaps the least suspenseful contest -- President Obama's nomination as the Democratic candidate -- was the biggest draw for some voters.


A statistical snapshot of California's primary

Voters torn in battle between Berman-Sherman

New rules, low turnout mark state's primary election

-- Chris Megerian in Sacramento

Photo: Election clerk Michael Daniels takes a vote by mail ballot from a voter at a drive up ballot collection point outside the Sacramento County Registrar of Voters office. Credit: Rich Pedroncelli / Associated Press

Obama, not issues, is the draw for some L.A. voters

Click for live coverage of the California primary

When Patricia Jordan, 57, was asked what brought her to the polls on Tuesday to vote in the California primary, her answer was swift and decisive.

"Obama! Who else?" said the Baldwin Village resident. "He's my No.1 concern."

President Obama has secured the Democratic Party's nomination as the incumbent, but here in Baldwin Village and throughout the city of Los Angeles, he is still the big draw. Some voters knew very little about issues on the ballot, such the cigarette tax and the candidates running for Los Angeles County district attorney. Instead, they showed up to throw their support behind the president.

LIVE RESULTS: California primary

"I don't know much about Propositions 28 and 29," said Diane Racine, 68, referring to the term limit initiative and the controversial cigarette increase. "I came out to make sure I supported President Obama."

Racine, an adult education teacher with the Los Angeles Unified School District, admitted it was harder this primary to vote for him. The Westwood resident will be laid off in two weeks because of budget cuts that will end adult education in the state. Still, Racine believes Obama has a better strategy to fix the economy than his opponent, Mitt Rommey. All Obama needs, she said, is another term.

Anthony Kent agreed. The 58-year-old Baldwin Village resident blames Congress' inability to compromise as the reason the economy has stalled and not made a full recovery.

"He's doing the best he can with the opposition he has against him," Kent said. "He can't change everything overnight. He might need a few more terms to fix it all."

Though Kent disagrees with Obama on gay marriage, he still made the trek from his job over to the Jim Gilliam Recreational Center in Baldwin Village to cast his vote for Obama.

"I'm behind him every day," he said.


Who's likely to vote in today's elections?

Follow California primary results with The Times

Election day: Southern California voters trickle in to polls

-- Angel Jennings in Baldwin Village

Photo: President Obama speaks at a campaign rally at Ohio State University. Credit: Mark Duncan / Associated Press

Democratic rival nabs campaign bloopers of GOP Rep. Gary Miller

The campaign team for Democratic congressional candidate Pete Aguilar, the mayor of Redlands, got its hands on campaign commercial bloopers of Republican rival Rep. Gary Miller of Diamond Bar -- and on Monday took great glee in sharing them with the world.

Miller is shown in a white dress shirt, no tie, in front of a “green screen” at what appears to be a typical commercial shoot for a campaign ad. The outtakes show Miller repeatedly stumbling over his lines and having a little trouble with the teleprompter but nothing that would be considered a major political gaffe or serious foot-in-mouth.

The Aguilar campaign offered a review -- and, as one might expect -- it was thumbs down.

“It  shows a guy who is out of touch after years in Washington and who is making fun of what it takes to connect to folks," said Doug Herman, a spokesman for the Aguilar campaign. “His image is contrived to what he thinks it should be, not who he really is.’’

Herman said the outtakes were found on the YouTube channel of the political firm Revolvis Consulting and that the video was publicly available.

In a press released sent out Monday, the Aguilar campaign included screen shots to show that the outtakes were left unprotected and available to anyone to download. The Aguilar campaign posted an edited version of the outtakes on its campaign website and YouTube.

The Miller campaign didn’t flinch and responded by posting the outtakes on Miller's own campaign website.

"You should have seen some of the ones that weren't in the outtakes,'' said Chris Marsh, spokesman for the Miller campaign. "It was a lot of fun making the videos, and even funnier when we got a chance to see them, like the outtakes at the end of a Jackie Chan movie.''

Marsh said the experience taught the congressman two valuable lessons: never to film near an airport and always read what the technician loads into the teleprompter beforehand. 


California lawmakers act to pave way for driverless cars

Governor, legislators could face pay cut like other state workers

Year later, California oil regulators unsure what caused worker death

-- Phil Willon in Riverside

11 candidates qualify for L.A. Council race to replace Hahn

Eleven candidates qualified Thursday for the race to replace now-Congresswoman Janice Hahn on the Los Angeles City Council.

They include Assemblyman Warren Furutani (D-Gardena), who is backed by the Democratic Party and Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, and former Councilman Rudy Svorinich Jr., who is only eligible to run for another term due to a change in term limits. Meanwhile, the fire and police unions are each backing separate candidates.

-- Kate Linthicum at Los Angeles City Hall


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