The mood at the post-election party for Assemblywoman Patty Lopez (39-District) on Tuesday, Nov.8, was celebratory although it was clear to her supporters who monitored the results on their cellphones that she was not re-elected to serve another term.
Bocanegra won easily with 50,577 votes (61.1 percent) to 32,238 votes for Lopez (38.9 percent). He told his supporters that he was “honored to have the trust and confidence of the people of the Northeast San Fernando Valley. I look forward to fighting for our community in Sacramento.”
In the space above the Bank of America building on San Fernando Road, Lopez supporters enjoyed the homemade tamales and menudo made by her supporters and danced the night away with abandon to music spun by a D.J. that fluctuated between rancheras and 70’s dance tunes.
Like a party of friends and relatives, it was all home spun, which has been the signature since the beginning for Lopez.
This time, however, it would not be enough. Her campaign just could not compete with the more than million-dollar war chest or the power of political and union support that Bocanegra had carefully stored away for this rematch.
And this time, he said, he “would not take anything for granted.” He made sure that he kept a close watch on Lopez and her team.
Tuesday night Lopez repeated what she has always said; that if she wasn’t re-elected she was pleased that she successfully accomplished what she set out to do. Even when shut out of support from her own party and Sacramento colleagues, she successfully brought forth legislation and more funding for adult education, an issue she identified early on as one she was committed to.
But perhaps Lopez’ biggest accomplishment which also represented her own life experience, she gave a voice to an often forgotten immigrant community.
“Look around, this my community,” Lopez said. “I may not run for office again, but I’m not going to stop. I am going to continue to fight in Sacramento and here in my community against the high speed-rail and many other issues.”
Lopez questioned why Bocanegra, with all of his money, had to run so many negative mailings and “hit pieces” on her.
“There were so many lies and ugly mailings,” she said, “With so much support, why did he have to take it there?
“I am proud that we ran a clean honest campaign.”
Lopez said that she is looking forward to spending time with her family and furthering her own development, which includes increasing her language fluency in English.
“I am never going to stop being involved in my community,” she said.