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UPDATE: SCV helps send 3 Republicans, 1 Democrat to Sacramento

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Posted: November 7, 2012 7:36 a.m.
Updated: November 7, 2012 4:31 p.m.

Santa Clarita Valley voters helped send three Republicans and a Democrat to Sacramento during Tuesday voting in legislative districts redrawn to reflect 2010 census numbers.

State Sen. Fran Pavley is the lone Democrat who will represent the Santa Clarita Valley when the newly elected Legislature is sworn in. She also spent the most money in legislative races involving the Santa Clarita Valley.

In the 27th Senate District, Pavley had raised $1.9 million by late October for her campaign. She beat political novice and Republican Todd Zink by 52.6 percent to 47.4 percent.

Pavley is a longtime Democratic legislator whose district took in the mostly left-leaning western Los Angeles County area until it was redrawn northward into more conservative areas, including the western Santa Clarita Valley and parts of the San Fernando Valley and Ventura County.

A former teacher, she has staunchly supported environmental and educational issues over the years.

The two candidates’ campaigns both raised considerably more funds than did those of other Santa Clarita Valley legislative hopefuls and launched advertising blitzes late in the campaign season both attacking each other and touting their own qualifications.

Pavley said she spent quite a bit of time during the election familiarizing herself with the Santa Clarita Valley so that she can be prepared to represent her new constituents.

“It’s not that much of a stretch for Santa Clarita and Agoura Hills to find areas of commonality,” Pavley said, referring to the span of her district.

Pavley said she was confident she could effectively represent the more conservative areas in her district.

Pavley is the first Democrat to represent the Santa Clarita Valley, at least in recent memory, according to one elected official who is termed out of office at the end of the year.

Assemblyman Cameron Smyth, R-Santa Clarita, said he cannot remember a Democratic candidate being elected by local voters in his 41-year lifetime.

But, Smyth said, having a Democrat represent them in the Legislature could actually benefit residents.

“Now that the Democrats hold a supermajority in both houses, people will have to rely on their Democratic legislators,” Smyth said Wednesday. “So having a Democrat representing the valley could be a benefit in some ways.”

In the hotly contested 38th Assembly District race, longtime local resident and College of the Canyons Trustee Scott Wilk defeated San Fernando Valley resident and Democrat Edward Headington by 57 percent to 43 percent.

The district takes in most of the Santa Clarita Valley and has been represented by Smyth.

It was redrawn to include much of Simi Valley and parts of the San Fernando Valley, as well as most of the Santa Clarita Valley.

Headington billed himself as “the purple candidate” and ran on a platform of being a fiscal conservative and social moderate.

Wilk ran a tough primary campaign against two other Republicans and shifted his strategy after winning the nomination to focus on relationship-building in Sacramento, as well as campaigning in the district.

Both candidates have worked for publicly elected officials and campaigned for others in their respective parties.
North Saugus and Canyon Country fall into the 36th Assembly District, where Republican Ron Smith narrowly defeated “conservative Democrat” Steve Fox by 51 percent to 49 percent.

Both men are Antelope Valley residents, and the redrawn district stretches into that valley.

Smith said he was “honored” to be elected to the Assembly and that he is looking forward to trying to make California “the business-friendliest state in the nation.”

That goal, Smith said, needs to be a bipartisan one, especially with Democrats seizing large majorities in both state representative bodies.

“There can be some compromise,” Smith said. “There’s got to be some compromise.”

The race for Senate District 21, which takes in most of the Santa Clarita Valley, was low key.

With the endorsement of longtime Antelope Valley Republican leaders George and Sharon Runner, both of whom occupied the seat before him, Assemblyman Steve Knight, R-Palmdale, easily won election to the Senate.

Knight collected 58.5 percent of the vote while his Democratic opponent, Star Moffatt, garnered just 40.5 percent of the vote.

Knight said he happy with his win, but that working with the Democrat-controlled Legislature would be challenging.

But, Knight said, that challenge is the same as when he was an assemblyman.

“We’ve got to build those bridges, build those friendships and make sure people on both sides of the aisle are working together,” he said.






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