California 37 Special Election: Richardson elected, CBC keeps seat


Hat Tip CQ Politics

State Rep. Laura Richardson and state Sen. Jenny Oropeza, both Democrats, jumped out way ahead of the rest of the 17-candidate field in early results from Tuesday’s special election in California’s 37th Congressional District.

Richardson and Oropeza had been regarded as the front-running candidates throughout the special election campaign to succeed the late Democratic Rep. Juanita Millender-McDonald, who died of cancer April 22.

The early count — posted by Los Angeles County election authorities shortly after the polls closed at 8 p.m. Pacific Standard Time (PST) — included only ballots cast by absentee voters and those participating under California’s early voting rules.

But barring dramatically different results from votes cast at the polls Tuesday, the winner of the battle between Richardson and Oropeza will claim the Democratic nomination — and almost certain victory in the likely Aug. 21 runoff for the seat.

Tuesday’s primary had all 11 Democrats, four Republicans and two alternative-party candidates running on a single ballot, and that crowd of candidates made it unlikely that no single one would garner the majority vote needed to win outright and avoid a runoff.

But the runoff would be a contest between each party’s top vote-getter — and the 37th District, dominated by the city of Long Beach, is a Democratic Party stronghold in which Hispanics and African-Americans make up most of the population.

The advantage that the Democratic nominee will have was signaled by the early returns. Richardson led with 33 percent to 30 percent for Oropeza and 11 percent for the late congresswoman’s daughter, Valerie McDonald. The leading Republican candidate in the early voting, police sergeant and Iraq war veteran John M. Kanaley, had 10 percent of the vote.

The contest between Richardson, who is black, and Oropeza, who is Hispanic, had strong ethnic overtones. Hispanics make up more than 40 percent of the district’s population, but they make up a smaller share of the voting electorate. Blacks make up a quarter of the population, and many black activists have cited Millender-McDonald, an African-American, in calling for continued black representation in the district.

LAURA RICHARDSON       DEM                                11,027    37.76
   JENNY OROPEZA          DEM                                 9,144    31.31
   VALERIE MC DONALD      DEM                                 2,743     9.39
   JOHN M KANALEY         REP                                 2,230     7.64
   PETER MATHEWS          DEM                                 1,031     3.53
   TERI RAMIREZ           REP                                   560     1.92
   DANIEL A BREZENOFF     GR                                    352     1.21
   JEFFREY LEAVITT        REP                                   345     1.18
   L J “LJ” GUILLORY      REP                                   334     1.14
   ED WILSON              DEM                                   334     1.14
   HERB PETERS            LIB                                   315     1.08
   GEORGE A PARMER JR     DEM                                   220     0.75
   LEE DAVIS              DEM                                   181     0.62
   JEFFREY S PRICE        DEM                                   128     0.44
   BILL F GRISOLIA        DEM                                   125     0.43
   FELICIA FORD           DEM                                   109     0.37
   MERVIN EVANS           DEM                                    26     0.09
TOTAL PRECINCTS        334            PRECINCTS REPORTING       334   100.00 


12 thoughts on “California 37 Special Election: Richardson elected, CBC keeps seat

  1. dblhelix

    Well. The classic union GOTV combined with depressing the vote via nasty mailers. Only thing missing was the flyers underneath windshields at church on Sunday.

  2. dblhelix,

    The way sistah on this seat, she’d betta watch her damn back because Jenny can serve in the State Senate for 7.5 more years and redraw her halfrican arse outta it.

  3. dblhelix

    Exactly. The new districts will be in place for 2012.

    Hell, she might get challenged earlier. She can now add the Hispanics to the list of folks she’s pissed off. I read somewhere that she’s even managed to annoy the Cambodians.

    In the meantime, looks like TPJ has a new CBC pol to monitor.

  4. Denise

    OT: Regarding tomorrow night’s “All American Presidential Forums on PBS hosted by Tavis…”

    This site lists the bloggers who obtained media credentials to cover the event. It’s an interesting mix.

    Heck, I might try to go on campus just to be part of the event tomorrow. Who knows. I may have a chance to ask some questions in person 😆

  5. Color Me Shocked, because once Art Torres (California Dem Chair and a Latino) threw the support of the Caucus behind Oropeza, I thought the seat was heading to the CHC, not the CBC.

    I just hope Richardson is not another Al Wynn-Harold Ford type, because the CBC is already in piss-poor condition, and another Whore would be the literal death of the Black Caucus.

  6. Denise

    Alright now!

    I’ll be hanging out with the other “non-credentials losers” behind the security perimeter, probably at the Mickey D’s. LOL

    Do ya thang, Sis

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