The primary election is gone and some old friends and rivals will face each other again in November in hopes of representing the county, state and federal offices.
According to election rules, the two leading candidates each race advance to the runoff in November regardless of party affiliation. The lone exception is county supervisorial races; if a candidate receives more than 50 percent of the vote, that candidate wins outright.
As expected, the fight for the state’s 39th Assembly District — covers Sylmar, San Fernando, Tujunga and Mission Hills — will be a repeat of the 2014 election between Patty Lopez and Raul Bocanegra.
According to the final results posted by county Registrar of Voters, Bocanegra received 22,613 votes (45.7 percent) in Tuesday’s primary, followed by Lopez who received 13,285 votes (26.9 percent). None of the other four candidates vying for the post broke two-digit percentage points.
Two years ago, Lopez, considered a political neophyte, with little money and a grassroots team of mostly women and immigrants walked the district and knocked on doors. Bocanegra, then the incumbent, took his re-election for granted, instead walking for candidates in other districts.
Lopez stunned Bocanegra in the election and beat him by 467 votes, an upset that sent political shockwaves up and down the state.
This time, Bocanegra blanketed district homes with mailers and ads, spending more than half a million dollars to win his seat back, thanks to heavy support from the Democratic Party and unions.
As before, Lopez ran a modest campaign with a largely grassroots team to support her again. Her only major endorsement comes from state Assembly speaker Anthony Rendon, who has personally donated to Lopez’s campaign and supports her re-election.
Calls made Bocanegra and his representatives for comment Wednesday were not returned by press time. But Lopez said she feels “positive” about the runoff election in November.
“I’m not backing up, even a step. I believe the people made a statement that they want a representative that’s not always in Sacramento but in the district.”
Bocanegra, with a war chest ($700,000) ten times greater compared to Lopez ($70,000), also had the large advantage of the endorsement by the Democratic Party which brought more money to his campaign.
“I don’t have big pockets. I’m doing this because I want to help my community. I’m not another career politician. I hope people can see that,” Lopez said.
“My campaign did well especially with all the barriers put in front of me.
Bocanegra has the support of Secretary of State Alex Padilla and Congressman Tony Cardenas, but I feel the community and my record on the Assembly floor during my first term in office speaks for me and I don’t have to ask anyone for permission to make a decision. My work, my ethics and principals, and the plan I have for my district speaks for itself.”
Lopez said she will continue to meet directly with community members and will stay focused on her work in Sacramento and the election in November.
A pair of veteran politicians will face each in November for the 29th Congressional District seat that represents much of the eastern San Fernando Valley.
Incumbent Tony Cardenas (D-Panorama City) received 62.2 percent of the vote on Tuesday (42,892), against the 13.1 percent vote total received by former state legislator and Los Angeles City Councilmember Richard Alarcon (9,021). Three other candidates were eliminated.
Alarcon is trying to make a political comeback after an appeals court threw out a conviction of voter fraud against him after a jury determined he had lied about living in his district when he ran for the L.A. City Council. Alarcon and his wife will be retried for perjury and voter fraud, and are expected back in court at the end of the month.
Cardenas, meanwhile, still has to contend with large legal fees following a Grand Jury subpoena received by one of his key staff members last year.
Supervisor, Fifth District
Kathryn Barger is the leading contender to replace outgoing Los Angeles County Supervisor Michael Antonovich. She is in a November runoff against entrepreneur Darrell Park.
Barger outdistanced seven other candidates Tuesday with 77,131 votes (29.8 percent). Park was next with 38,911 votes (15.02 percent).
Despite raising the most campaign money ($1.3 million), Los Angeles City Councilmember Mitch Englander finished fifth with 32,017 votes (12.4 percent).
Antonovich — who will have served the district for 36 years before being forced out by term limits at the end of this year — had thrown his support behind Barger, his chief of staff. Supervisor Sheila Kuehl and former Supervisor Gloria Molina also endorsed Barger, who had strong backing from unions representing sheriff’s deputies and county firefighters, as well as the Service Employees International Union Local 721, which represents most county employees.
The 5th District includes the Antelope and Santa Clarita valleys, along with portions of the San Gabriel and San Fernando valleys and foothills.
The Board of Supervisors controls a $28.5 billion budget — larger than that of most states — and provides services to more than 10 million residents in 88 cities and unincorporated areas.