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Gatto, Liu, Schiff handily hold on to their seats

November 07, 2012|By Jason Wells and Mark Kellam

Local Democratic incumbents for state offices and the U.S. House easily cleared challenges from their Republican opponents Tuesday.

Even in the hotly contested race for the 43rd Assembly District, incumbent Assemblyman Mike Gatto (D-Silver Lake) never lost a comfortable lead over Republican challenger Greg Krikorian, a Glendale school board member, as the election returns -- hampered by fog and air transit delays -- trickled in well past midnight.

With all precincts reporting, Gatto won the district with 60.5% of the electorate, or 72,797 votes to Kirkorian's 47,615, according to the California Secretary of State.

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As the returns rolled in Tuesday night, Gatto said he was pleased with the numbers, even if they were preliminary.

“I’m encouraged by the results, so far, and I’m deeply grateful for all the voters who supported me, and I continue to be honored and humbled by their trust in me,” he said.

In the 25th District for state Senate, Sen. Carol Liu (D-La Cañada Flintridge) also won by a wide margin -- 161,649 votes to the 106,344 garnered by her Republican challenger Gilbert Gonzales -- according to the California Secretary of State.

Gonzales, a former aide to Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa who now handles government affairs for Vons and Safeway, had opposed Propositions 30 and 38, competing tax measures to address the state’s multibillion-dollar deficit and fund education.

Liu, who has long positioned herself squarely in the education and social services camp in a heavily blue district, was behind Prop. 30 and had been sounding the alarm to constituents on impending spending cuts -- an issue many voters in exit poll interviews said was important.

Liu said she would carry on with her focus on “education, environment and infrastructure” while also working for state fiscal reform.

“We need to get a hold of this budget situation and get it right,” she said.

Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Burbank) maintained a commanding lead over his GOP challenger, Phil Jennerjahn, ending with 140,381 votes -- a 76% share -- to Jennerjahn's 44,433.

The two men provided voters with perhaps the clearest choice in terms of political differences on everything from Social Security to abortion. Jennerjahn’s far right positions clearly did not resonate in a district where Democratic Party registration far outpaces that of Republicans, 47.2% to 23%.

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