Elected officials waste little time getting ready for work (updated)
Senator Carol Liu, Congresswoman Judy Chu and Chris Holden, all Democrats, have been elected to represent the newly redrawn 25th Senate, 27th Congressional and 41st Assembly districts, including the city of Claremont. The newly appointed legislators will be sworn into office this December.
Californians showed up to the polling places in record numbers Tuesday to cast their votes. Claremont residents were no exception, said Sonja Stump, an election volunteer in Claremont for more than 30 years. When she arrived for work at the Sycamore Elementary polling place prior to its 7 a.m. opening, a long line of voters were already gathered in anticipation.
“One lady had been waiting since before 6:30,” Ms. Stump said.
Ms. Stump credits the high turnout with the notable ballot measures and residents’ increased frustration on issues ranging from jobs to healthcare to education.
“It’s not just the national issues. There are important local California issues on the ballot too,” she noted. “People in Claremont care and are studying up.”
Later that night, while early results showed Pasadena Councilmember Chris Holden with only a slim, one percent lead over businesswoman Donna Lowe-R, the gap widened to 14 percent as the votes rolled in. At the end of the night, Mr. Holden won by 57.6 percent, or 84,094 votes to Ms. Lowe’s 42.4 percent, or 61,899 votes.
Two days following Election Day, Mr. Holden is already in Sacramento along with fellow legislators getting acclimated. Though he says the fact that he will now take his service at the local level to the state capitol hasn’t completely hit him, he is eager to waste no time in getting started.
“There is a lot to be done. [California residents] have high hopes and aspirations not only for me but for their legislative body,” Mr. Holden said.
Keeping the pressure on Metro to get the Gold Line funded through Claremont and getting California back to work are among his top priorities.
“California has great entrepreneurial spirit and industry opportunities to grow and develop in ways that will work well for the future of our state,” Mr. Holden said, adding, “I’m looking forward to this great opportunity to now move out on things people talked about during the campaign.”
Ms. Lowe did not return calls for a post-election interview, however, a closing comments was posted to her campaign Facebook page, Donna Lowe for Assembly. It states:
“Thank you to all the amazing supporters who helped with this campaign. We really kicked butt and held on all night. We can’t help that Democrats are so blinded and don’t see the demise of our state and country are coming at a fast pace. My opponent didn't give any sweat equity he kicked back with his labor union support while we fought hard. We will fight on. God is with us and we will continue to give him the glory.”
In the senate race, Senator Carol Liu returns to office with a lead of 60.3 percent, or 161,649 votes to Republican opponent Gil Gonzales’s 39.7 percent, or 106,344 votes. Preparing to serve her second term in the State Senate—elected in 2008 after serving 2 terms in the State Assembly—Ms. Liu says her focus on working across party lines to better education and job opportunities in California has not changed.
“I love working on the policy issues. I love the idea that we can problem-solve these things together,” Ms. Liu said in a recent COURIER interview. “There are many, many things we need to work together on regarding infrastructure, education and dealing with human resources that we have or don’t have. I do think all these things are solvable, and I’m committed to working on them until I get too tired.”
Congresswoman Judy Chu will also remain in her Congressional seat, defeating retired FBI agent Jack Orswell, 63.4 percent (115,910) to 36.6 percent (66,777). Ms. Chu, who has served the San Gabriel Valley in elected office for the last 27 years, said that despite the changing district, her core values and commitment to serve remain the same.
“I will honor that trust by fighting for their needs each and every day in Congress,” Ms. Chu said. "I represented the cities of the 27th District while serving in the State Assembly and the Board of Equalization, and am excited to now represent them in Congress. It has been a privilege to fight for the needs of the 32nd District over the past 3 years, and residents can count on me to continue my efforts to strengthen the entire San Gabriel Valley."
In addition to electing new local representation, Claremont citizens affected change through state ballot measures. Last month, the Claremont City Council passed a resolution 3-0 to support Proposition 30, a temporary quarter-cent tax increase to fund education and public policy. The 7-year tax increase passed Tuesday with a slim lead, 53.9 percent to 46.1 percent.
The city council also passed a resolution 3-0 against Measure J, continuing the quarter-cent tax to fund public transportation through 2069. The measure was unfavorable to council members because the funding previously alleged to help fund the Gold Line through Claremont, would no longer hold true to that promise. California voters felt the same way, as Measure J failed to receive the two-thirds majority vote required for its passage. With 64.72 percent of the vote, the tax extension missed the needed amount by 2 points.
For full election results, visit www.lavote.net.
Final proposition results
Prop 30, temporary taxes to fund education passed 53.9 percent to 46.1 percent.
Prop 31, state budget, state and local government, failed 60.8 percent to 39.2 percent.
Prop 32, political contributions by payroll deduction, failed 56.1 percent to 43.9 percent.
Prop 33, auto insurance prices based on driver history, failed 54.6 percent to 45.4 percent.
Prop 34, death penalty, failed 52.8 percent to 47.2 percent.
Prop 35, human trafficking, passed 81.1 percent to 18.9 percent.
Prop 36, three strikes law, passed 68.6 percent to 31.4 percent.
Prop 37, genetically engineered foods labeling, failed 53.1 percent to 46.9 percent.
Prop 38, tax for education, early childhood programs, failed 72.3 percent to 27.7 percent.
Prop 39, business tax for energy funding, passed 60.1 percent to 39.9 percent.
Prop 40, redistricting state senate, passed 71.4 percent to 28.6 percent.