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Political Landscape: Democrats reign in the area

August 19, 2010

Today, Burbank and Glendale are Democratic Party territory. In Burbank, 45% of the 54,761 registered voters are Democrats, according to the Angeles County Registrar-Recorder County Clerk's Office.

Of the remainder, 29% are Republican, 22% independent and 4% members of minor parties.

In Glendale, with nearly 89,000 registered voters, 41% are Democrats, 30% Republicans, 26% Independents and 4% affiliated with minor parties.

It wasn't always that way. Dario Frommer, a Glendale native and former state assemblyman who represented the area from 2000 to 2006, recalled visiting his first polling place when he was a student at Hoover High School.

"I remember going to vote at a garage in west Glendale," Frommer said. "There were eight voting booths for Republicans, and one that was Democrat-slash-other."

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Frommer, 47, said several factors have changed the landscape since then. Among them is the surge "in the vibrant and dynamic Armenian community," as well as the growth of the Latino population and the influx of people from the entertainment industry. All those communities tend to be more liberal than conservative.

But "the fastest-growing political party today is independent voters," Frommer said.

He noted that nearly one out of four voters in his old Assembly district are independents, up from about one in six when he was in office a few years ago.

"Those are people who don't want to associate with either party," Frommer said. "They are more skeptical of incumbents and more interested in knowing what the candidates will do."

La Cañada Flintridge and La Crescenta remain Republican strongholds.

According to the registrar's office, La Cañada's roughly 14,000 registered voters include 48% Republicans, 30% Democrats, 19% Independents and 2% in other parties. In La Crescenta, 41% of the 8,000-plus registered voters are Republican, 35% Democrat, 20% Independent and 3% are with minor parties.

Looking at the 165,782 registered voters in all four cities, 41% are Democrats, 32% are Republicans, 24% are Independent and 3% are with minor parties.

Friedman, Talamantes answer questions

Glendale City Councilwoman Laura Friedman and Burbank Vice Mayor Jess Talamantes were among those on the hot seat at an Aug. 12 luncheon sponsored by the Valley Industry & Commerce Assn.

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