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