Despite a tide that swept away many incumbents nationally on election day, Westside members of Congress were immune to the national dissatisfaction that caused many Washington lawmakers their jobs.
Reps. Maxine Waters (D- Westchester) and Jane Harman (D-Venice) were both returned to Washington by the electorate, knocking off relatively unknown challengers with wide margins of victory.
Waters trounced Bruce Brown, a self-described CEO and gang interventionist, with almost 80 percent of the vote, winning her 10th term in the 35th Congressional District. Waters totaled 80,723 votes to Brown’s 20,995. Harman dispatched Republican Venice resident Matty Fein, taking 59.5 percent of all ballots cast in the 36th Congressional District. The congresswoman pulled in 92,214 votes to Fein’s 54,061.
Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Santa Monica) was re-elected for the 17th time, handily defeating C.E. Wilkerson by a margin of 64.4 to 32.2 percent. The congressman won 122,107 votes to Wilkerson’s 61,089.
Waters’ district includes Westchester, Del Rey, Marina del Rey, Playa Vista and Playa del Rey, while Harman’s spans Venice and Los Angeles International Airport.
In the 53rd Assembly District, Democrat and Marina del Rey resident Betsy Butler overcame an early lead by South Bay Republican Nathan Mintz. Butler won just over 50 percent of the vote to replace termed out Assemblyman Ted Lieu (D-Marina del Rey) with 59,222 votes. Mintz, an aerospace engineer who enjoyed support from the “Tea Party,” took in 43.1 percent with 50,839 votes.
Green Party candidate Lisa Ann Green, a Venice resident, came in third place with 5,109 votes.
The 28th Senate District had solemn overtones for many voters when incumbent state Sen. Jenny Oropeza passed away on Oct. 20. Because it was too late to field a replacement, Oropeza’s name remained on the ballot where she soundly defeated South Bay Republican John Stammreich with 58.3 to 35.7 percent of ballots cast. Oropeza took 116,007 votes to Stammreich’s 71,022.
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger will call for a special election, which will be held next year, for Oropeza’s seat after Dec. 6.
Santa Monica City Council members hold on to seats; school board gets two new members
The make-up of the Santa Monica City Council will remain unchanged after the three incumbent and two appointed council members held on to their seats in the Nov. 2 election, according to unofficial results.
In the closest margin of victory for the four-year terms, incumbent Bob Holbrook, with 17 percent of the vote, appeared to have edged out challenger Ted Winterer by just 146 votes for the third spot, with 100 percent of precincts reporting. The city clerk could not be reached for comment to confirm if any challenges have been received or if absentee ballots were yet to be counted.
Holbrook was re-elected to his sixth term on the council. Winterer narrowly missed out on a seat in a previous election.
Incumbent Kevin McKeown, who was re-elected to his fourth term, garnered the most votes at 13,037, or nearly 22 percent. Incumbent Pam O’Connor won the second seat with 11,534 votes, or 19 percent, for her fifth council term.
In the race for two-year seats, Terry O’Day and Gleam Davis each were elected for the first time after they were appointed to the council following the deaths of Ken Genser in 2010 and Herb Katz in 2009, respectively. O’Day received 12,592 votes, or 33 percent, while Davis tallied 10,632, or 28 percent.
Marilyn Korade Wilson, Bill Winslow, Todd Flora and Chris Braun were each elected to the Rent Control Board.
Santa Monica voters overwhelmingly supported ballot measures Y and YY. Measure Y, which calls for the creation of a half-cent sales tax to support essential city services such as police, fire and emergency response, was approved with 61 percent of the vote. Measure YY, an advisory measure that asked voters if they would support using half of the tax money generated to support the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District, was approved by 68 percent of voters.
Also winning voter support with 65 percent of ballots cast was Measure RR, which calls for the city charter to be amended with requirements that landlords show good cause to evict tenants.
The Santa Monica-Malibu district Board of Education will have two new members after challengers took two of the four open seats, with 100 percent of precincts reporting.
Of the three incumbents running, Oscar de la Torre and Ralph Mechur were re-elected with roughly 16 percent and 14 percent of the vote, respectively. Barry Snell, the current board president, fell short of re-election in fifth place with 11 percent of votes cast.
The two other board seats were won by community volunteer Laurie Lieberman, who tallied the most votes with 14,258, and small business owner Nimish Patel, who received 10,298 votes.