By Jason KUROSU
The election results are in after nearly record low voter turnout across the state. June 5 marked a change in voting rules, as the state moved to a “top-two” primary system in which the two candidates who receive the most votes are placed on the November ballot, regardless of party affiliation. Early results have several members of the same party pitted against each other within their districts, including a large amount of such results in Los Angeles County. In total, 17 of the 53 Californian congressional districts will not feature a fall race between a Democrat and a Republican.
As for the propositions, voters have approved Proposition 28 by a margin of 61.4% voting yes to 38.6% voting no. Proposition 28 reduces the number of years someone can serve in the state legislature from 14 years to 12 years, as well as allowing them to serve that time in either the state senate or assembly.
The voting was much closer on Proposition 29, the measure which would institute an increased tax on cigarettes, the revenue of which, an estimated $860 million a year, would fund cancer research and smoking cessation programs. Proposition 29 was defeated by a slim 1.6% margin. Proponents of the measure favored an increased tax as a potential deterrent to smoking, as well as the increased funding into cancer research while opponents, including tobacco companies who spent nearly $50 million campaigning against the measure, were wary of a large spending project in the face of the state’s continued budgetary woes.
The other major races on the ballot were much less contentious.
Diane Feinstein won an overwhelming majority of the votes in the U.S. Senate race, with Republican candidate Elizabeth Emken winning 12.5% of the vote, enough to face Feinstein this November. Meanwhile in the Presidential primaries, Mitt Romney came out as the clear favorite for the Republican candidacy, taking nearly 80% of the voting, with Ron Paul coming in second with only 10.2%.
In the race for U.S. Representatives – District 28, Democrat Adam Schiff received 59.5% of the vote while Republican Phil Jennerjahn garnered 17.0%.
In District 25, Republican Howard P. “Buck” McKeon received 50.2% of the votes and Democrat Lee C. Rogers captured 30.2%.
In the race for California State Senate – District 25, Democrat Carol Liu won 51.7% of the votes and Republican Gilbert V. Gonzales nabbed 42.9%.
Mike Gatto, democrat, received 56.3% of the votes in the race for State Assembly – District 43 with challenger Greg Krikorian, republican, receiving 43.7% of votes cast.
Those running to retain their seats on the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors – supervisors Mark Ridley-Thomas, Don Knabe and Michael D. Antonovich –were all successful.