Women Rule the Ballot Box on Election Day Clinton defeats Sanders, Hahn dominates supervisor contest, and it’s now Harris vs. Sanchez competing for the Senate in November

By Joe Piasecki, Gary Walker and Christina Campodonico

Hillary Clinton energized supporters during a Women For Hillary rally on Friday at West L.A. College in Culver City Photo by Mia Duncans

Hillary Clinton energized supporters during a Women For Hillary rally
on Friday at West L.A. College in Culver City
Photo by Mia Duncans

Women made history at the ballot box on Tuesday, with Hillary Clinton soundly defeating rival Bernie Sanders in California to become the first female presidential nominee of a major U.S. political party.

Two women of color, California Attorney General Kamala Harris and Rep. Loretta Sanchez (D-Santa Ana), topped a field of 34 U.S. Senate candidates, marking the first time that two Democrats will square off for a federal office in the general election — and the first time in a statewide election that a Republican has failed to make the November ballot.

Rep. Janice Hahn (D- San Pedro) came out far ahead in the three-way race to replace termed-out Los Angeles County Supervisor Don Knabe, nearly earning enough votes to win the seat outright and avoid a runoff with opponent Steve Napolitano.

Voter participation in Los Angeles County also increased significantly compared to the 2012 presidential primary, with the Registrar-Recorder’s Office reporting 1,438,909 ballots cast compared to 973,274 four years ago.

Voter registration also increased by 359,000 voters to 4,809,303, putting Tuesday’s voter turnout at about 30%.


Both Clinton and Sanders made frequent campaign stops throughout the voter-rich Los Angeles area over the past several weeks, including a few on the Westside.

On Friday, Clinton fired up supporters during a Women For Hillary rally at West L.A. College in Culver City.

On election night, Sanders addressed supporters at Barker Hangar in Santa Monica — his second rally in the city since speaking to 6,700 people at Santa Monica High School on May 23.

Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, whose recent campaign stops around California have been marred by arrests and violence, slipped quietly in and out of Santa Monica on May 25 for a fundraising dinner at a private home.

On Tuesday, Clinton won 55.8% support in the Democratic primary (more than 1.9 million votes) to Sanders’ 43.2%, according to the California Secretary of State’s Office.

While early returns in California hinted at a possible concession speech from Sanders, he instead vowed to continue his campaign through to the Democratic National Convention in July.

“We will continue to fight for every vote and every delegate,” Sanders told supporters. “If this campaign has proven anything, it has proven that millions of Americans who love this country are prepared to stand up and fight to make this country a much better place. Thank you all. The struggle continues.”

Trump got 75.3% support in his party’s essentially uncontested California primary, earning about 1.1 million votes. Ohio Gov. John Kasich, who dropped out of the race more than a month ago, came in second with 11% of the vote.


Both Clinton and Sanders attacked Trump during their recent appearances on the Westside.

“He doesn’t really have ideas, he just engages in rants and personal feuds and outright lies — something that our country cannot afford in a commander-in-chief,” Clinton said at West L.A. College.

“This election is really about breaking down every barrier that stands in the way of every American, giving everyone the chance to go as far as his or her hard work and talent will take them,” she added, going on to enumerate support for job and income growth, college affordability and affordable health care.

“When I talk like this, you know, Donald Trump — [the crowd boos] — Donald Trump says, ‘Oh there she goes, playing the woman card.’ Well, I’ll tell you that if talking about paid family leave, equal pay and women’s rights to make our own health care decisions is playing the woman card, then deal me in.”

Local Reps. Karen Bass and Maxine Waters  (who both won easy contests on Tuesday) and celebrities including Elizabeth Banks, Sophia Bush, Michelle Kwan, Debra Messing, Mary Steenburgen and Sally Field joined Clinton on stage during the Women For Hillary event — some of them taking their own shots at Trump.

“If he gets his way, all the progress that has been made over the past 50 years will be erased. We will be a country led by a reckless bigot and misogynist,” Messing said.

“We know what kind of president [Clinton] will be because she’s already dedicated her life to public service,” Banks, who called Trump “a fraud,” said. “And then there’s Donald. He ran a university; it no longer exists. He had a TV show; it no longer exists. He had hair …”

Sanders told supporters in Santa Monica on Tuesday that “The American people, in my view, will never support a candidate whose major theme is bigotry.”


At final count, Hahn received 47.3% of the vote in Tuesday’s L.A. County Board of Supervisors contest — a total of 121,228 votes, according to county elections officials.

Napolitano, who will now face her in the November runoff, received about 37% support, and underfunded Whittier school board member Ralph Pacheco nearly 16%.

Neither Hahn nor Napolitano could be reached for comment, but Hahn campaign manager Dave Jacobsen said his boss was thrilled with the result.

‘It’s a testament to the wide-ranging support that Rep. Hahn has received in this campaign,” Jacobsen said. “Rep. Hahn is proud of the positive campaign that she has run in contrast to Steve Napolitano, who ran a Donald Trump-style campaign of lies and attacks misrepresenting Janice Hahn’s record.”

In other local races, Democrats cruised to victory over underfunded Republican opponents.

Reps. Ted Lieu, Waters and Bass as well as Assemblymen Richard Bloom and Sebastian Ridley-Thomas each won easy victories. Assemblywoman Autumn Burke (D- Marina del Rey) ran unopposed.