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Local incumbents fare well in 2012

By Aaron Blevins, 11/08/2012

Waxman holds off Bloomfield for 33rd Congressional seat

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All of the incumbents representing the local area retained their seats on Tuesday, with the exception of Assemblywoman Betsy Butler, who is in a close race with fellow Democrat Richard Bloom for the 50th Assembly District seat.

Janet Hawkins takes a photo of her and her son, Dawson Hawkins-Zeller, at a Mid-City polling place on Tuesday. She said it’s important for parents to instill a sense of voting responsibility in young people. (photo by Aaron Blevins)

As of deadline, Bloom was leading Butler by just over 200 votes. The incumbent received 69,062 votes (49.9 percent), whereas her challenger has received 69,280 (50.1 percent).

Bloom could not be reached for comment, as he was catching up on some “badly needed rest,” his campaign manager, Brian Ross Adams, said. He said the campaign has been “grueling.”

“He finished the night ahead by 218 votes, but the process is not yet complete,” Ross said. “Votes will be counted for the next two weeks, and he, along with many others, will follow the count closely and optimistically.”

In the Presidential Election, Barack Obama won re-election by amassing 303 electoral votes, with 270 required to win. He also received 50 percent of the popular vote, and Republican challenger Mitt Romney garnered 48 percent.

As expected, California voters overwhelmingly supported Obama, as the president won the state and its 55 electoral votes by almost 2 million votes. Libertarian Gary Johnson placed third in the state, pulling 98,615 (1 percent) votes.

Democrats retained control of the U.S. Senate, and Dianne Feinstein was re-elected, beating Republican challenger Elizabeth Emken by more than 2 million votes.

In the 28th Congressional District race, incumbent Adam Schiff defeated Republican challenger Phil Jennerjahn by almost 100,000 votes. Voters supported Schiff with 76 percent of the final tally.

“I’m very excited to have a chance to represent the new district,” he said. “I really have enjoyed getting to know my new constituents and the new communities.”

The 28th Congressional District now includes West Hollywood and Hollywood, and Schiff hopes to address transportation, quality of life and economic issues in those areas.

The 12-year congressman, who was elected to his seventh term, will represent some new areas, as well as areas that he had covered several years ago, such as Los Feliz and La Cañada-Flintridge.

The race for the 33rd Congressional District was much closer. Henry Waxman was re-elected with 53.7 percent of the vote, defeating challenger Bill Bloomfield by less than 20,000 votes.

“I’m very honored to have the support of the people in this new congressional district,” Waxman said.

With his new district, he added several beach communities from Venice to Palos Verdes. Waxman said he looks forward to representing those areas and their various challenges, while also addressing some national concerns in Washington, D.C.

“We have a lot of things we have to do pretty quickly,” he added.

The congressman, who will begin his 20th term in 2013, hopes to help the federal government get its finances in order and reduce the deficit without burdening the elderly or the poor. Waxman also hopes to address immigration reform.

“I think that’s just so unfair,” he said. “There’s so many people living in the shadows.”

Lastly, Waxman is looking to address the country’s dependence on foreign oil, which, in his opinion, is a leading cause of climate change. He said Superstorm Sandy provided a good example of that more than one week ago.

Waxman said he is “pretty exhausted” after a tough campaign, in which his opponent outspent him considerably and used the campaign funding to run negative ads that were “unfair.”

“Winning is great, and I’m feeling very pleased,” he added.

Congressman Xavier Becerra won re-election for the 34th Congressional District, which includes Koreatown and portion of the Hancock Park area. He beat Republican challenger Stephen C. Smith handily, by more than 85,000 votes.

In the 37th Congressional District, Karen Bass earned a second term by winning more than 86 percent of the vote over Republican Morgan Osborne, who made no public comment prior to the election. Still, he received 23,969 votes.

“I’m very excited and honored to serve the district again,” Bass said.

Like other incumbents, Bass has new communities in her district, but they are areas she represented during her time in Sacramento. With her new term, she’s looking to make some changes.

“I’m hoping that I can have a change in committee assignments so I can really push for transportation projects in L.A.,” Bass added.

Specifically, the congresswoman would like to see the completion of the Expo Line and a Crenshaw line station at Leimert Park.

She is also hopeful that her Republican counterparts, who retained control of the House, will be more willing bipartisan partners over the next four years. Bass said their top priority over the last four years was to prevent Obama from being re-elected.

“I’m looking forward to the new Congress and … I’m hoping that my colleagues on the other side of the aisle will be more cooperative this time around,” she said.

In other state races, John Pérez won his bid for re-election in the 53rd Assembly District, which includes Koreatown and portions of Hancock Park, and incumbent Holly Mitchell won another term in the 54th Assembly District, which covers portions of Mid-City.

The battle for Los Angeles County District Attorney ended with Jackie Lacey defeating Alan Jackson by more than 200,000 votes to become the county’s first African American and first female district attorney. In her victory speech, she praised current District Attorney Steve Cooley for telling her she would become a better person for running for office.

“I have learned that if you step out in faith to accomplish something worthwhile, family, friends and some really good-hearted strangers will help you,” Lacey said. “I have learned that standing tall and resisting adversity is strength training for the mind and soul.”

 

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