In contrast to the national results where republicans claimed victory by taking control of the U.S. Senate (52 versus 45) and the House of Representatives 244 to 179, Democrats maintained control of key state-wide offices and the legislature in California.
Despite a low turnout of 25.25 percent of registered voters in L.A. County, democrats easily bested their Republican rivals in all the state offices according to semi-official results. (See results to the right.)
They also were able to maintain control of the state legislature, although they no longer have a super majority. In local races, State Sen. Holly Mitchell defeated her democratic opponent Isidro Armenta 68.7 to 31.3 percent (57,753 vs. 26,346.)
In the state assembly, Reggie Jones Sawyer ran unopposed in the 59th District while Autumn Burke continues her family’s political legacy by defeating her Republican rival Ted J. Grose 75.7 to 24.3 percent. She joins Sebastian Ridley-Thomas as the second generation of local African Americans to follow in a parent’s political footsteps.
Ridley-Thomas, son of Los Angeles County Supervisor Mark, also defeated his opponent Glen Ratcliff 78.3 to 21.7 percent to win the right to represent the 54th Assembly District again.
Burke follows the footsteps of her mother Yvonne Braithwaite, who was the first African American woman to represent the West Coast in Congress. Additionally she served in the state assembly and as a member of the L.A. County Board of Supervisors.
In the critical race for sheriff, voters opted to bring new blood to the controversial law enforcement agency by choosing Long Beach Police Chief Jim McDonnell with 74.83 percent of the vote rather than department insider Paul Tanaka, who collected only 25.17 percent of ballots cast.
In the Inglewood municipal election, incumbent James T. Butts Jr. handily defeated three opponents to avoid a run-off.
On the national front, the Democratic Party took a dramatic hit during Tuesday’s midterm elections. Republicans will hold at least 52 seats in the Senate and hold the largest House majority since World War II, according to CNN projections.
Kentucky Sen. Mitch McConnell, Minority Leader of the Senate and presumptive majority leader in the new session, offered a preview Wednesday of the combative approach he may take in running the Senate during President Barack Obama’s final years in office.
“There certainly are going to be areas of disagreement,” the Kentucky Republican, who is expected to become the next Senate majority leader, said in his first comments since the GOP took control of the chamber.
McConnell disagreed with the administration’s approach on everything from the environment to healthcare and banking regulations.
Still, he offered to explore common ground on areas like tax reform and international trade. He also vowed to get the Senate back to its traditional work order, allowing amendments on both sides and empowering committees.
“The American people have changed the Senate, so I think we have an obligation to change the behavior of the Senate,” McConnell said. “That doesn’t guarantee that the president is going to agree with everything we do.”
Edmund G. “Jerry” Brown 3,049,385 58.7%
Neel Kashkari 2,147,271 41.3%
Gavin Newsom 2,856,458 55.9%
Ron Nehring 2,250,038 44.1%
Secretary of State
Alex Padilla 2,647,758 52.5%
Pete Peterson 2,396,986 47.5%
Betty T. Yee 2,650,965 52.8%
Ashley Swearengin 2,374,530 47.2%
John Chiang 2,914,904 57.7%
Greg Conlon 2,140,404 42.3%
Kamala D. Harris 2,858,461 56.3%
Ronald Gold 2,222,395 43.7%
Dave Jones 2,817,654 56.3%
Ted Gaines 2,186,799 43.7%
Superintendent of Public Instruction
Tom Torlakson 2,266,425 52.1%
Marshall Tuck 2,084,936 47.9%
Yes 1 Funding Water Quality, Supply,
Treatment, Storage 6
Yes 2 State Budget Stabilization
No 45 Healthcare Insurance Rate
No 46 Doctor Drug Testing, Medical
Yes 47 Criminal Sentences,
No 48 Indian Gaming Compacts
Board of Equalization
Jerome E. Horton 645,746 61.8%
G. Rick Marshall 399,760 38.2%
House of Representatives
Maxine Waters 53,433 70.4%
John Wood, Jr. 22,478 29.6%
Karen Bass 70,900 83.8%
R. Adam King 13,660 16.2%
Janice Hahn 46,802 87.0%
Adam Shbeita 6,982 13.0%
State Assembly 53rd District
Sandra Mendoza (DEM) 8,761 35.8%
Miguel Santiago DEM) 15,681 64.2%
Sebastian Ridley-Thomas 48,134 78.3%
Glen Ratcliff 13,308 21.7%
Reggie Jones-Sawyer 21,769 100.0%
Autumn Burke 41,888 75.7%
Ted J. Grose 13,440 24.3%
Mike Gipson 24,094 64.1%
Prophet La’Omar Walker 13,512 35.9%
Jeffrey Prang 442,453 50.52%
John Morris 433,417 49.48%
Compton Community Measure C
Yes 15,948 77.90%
No 4,525 22.10%
CNN contributed to this story.