With a criminal trial pending, Los Angeles Councilman Richard Alarcón on Tuesday saw his 19-year political career come to a close - or at least a pause - when he was defeated by a former aide for a seat in the state Assembly.
Alarcón received 33,633 votes for 41.5 percent, while Raul Bocanegra took 47,419 votes for 58.5 percent in the race for the 39th Assembly seat.
"I feel blessed to have had nearly 20 years in office, and I'm looking forward to my last eight months in office," Alarcón said. "The people let you know when they feel it's time for a change."
The main issue in the race was the criminal case filed against Alarcón and his wife, Flora Montes de Oca, for not living within his City Council district. The Alarcóns have pleaded not guilty to the charges and the trial is pending.
Bocanegra, an aide to outgoing Assemblyman Felipe Fuentes, said his election represents the desire for change in the community.
"The people of the Northeast Valley spoke loud and clear tonight, and they made it clear they are hungry for change," Bocanegra said. "They want new leaders who aren't going to toe the line, but are willing to fight the status quo to bring the resources we desperately need to our communities."
In other Valley area legislative races:
After a close, hard-fought race between two veteran politicians, Democratic Assemblywoman Julia Brownley defeated state Sen. Tony Strickland for the
The vote count remained close throughout the night. But as of Wednesday morning, Brownley had 105,734 votes for 51.7 percent compared with Strickland's 98,635 votes for 48.3 percent.
"I am so honored that the people of Ventura County have entrusted me to represent them in Congress," Brownley wrote on her campaign website. "I promise to fight for Ventura County to create jobs, expand the middle class, improve education and protect Social Security and Medicare. Representing Ventura County in Congress will be one of the greatest honors of my life."
In the 25th Congressional District, Rep. Howard P. "Buck" McKeon, R-Santa Clarita, beat back the challenge from Democratic Dr. Lee Rogers to win his 10th term in Congress.
McKeon received 98,090 votes for 55.2 percent compared with 79,597 votes for 44.8 percent for Rogers.
In the newly drawn 29th Congressional District in the northeast San Fernando Valley, Los Angeles Councilman Tony Cardenas easily defeated independent challenger David Hernandez in a district that is heavily Democratic and where Hernandez was vastly outspent.
Cardenas captured 82,233 votes for 74.2 percent. Hernandez received 28,564 votes for 25.8 percent.
In the 28th Congressional District that includes Pasadena and Hollywood, incumbent Democrat Adam Schiff defeated actor Phil Jennerjahn for Schiff's seventh term in Congress. Schiff received 140,381 votes for 76 percent compared with Jennerjahn's 44,433 votes for 24 percent.
In the 27th state Senate District that includes Agoura Hills, Westlake Village, Calabasas, Thousand Oaks and Simi Valley, incumbent Democratic Sen. Fran Pavley easily beat back a challenge from Republican Todd Zink. Pavley received 147,764 votes for 52.6 percent compared with Zink's 133,414 for 47.4 percent.
Zink, a deputy Los Angeles district attorney, had surprised Pavley in the primary election, narrowly outpolling her by a 50.6 percent to 49.4 percent margin.
In the 43rd Assembly District in the Glendale area, incumbent Democrat Mike Gatto won over Republican school board member Greg Krikorian. Gatto received 72,797 votes for 60.5 percent compared with Krikorian's 47,615 votes for 39.5 percent.
In the 44th Assembly District, incumbent Republican Jeff Gorell won out over Democrat Eileen MacEnery in his bid for a second term. Gorell received 68,704 votes for 53.6 percent compared with MacEnery's 59,388 votes for 46.4 percent.
In the 45th Assembly District in the central San Fernando Valley, Democratic Assemblyman Bob Blumenfield won easy election over Republican Chris Kolski, even amid complaints he has already declared his intent to run for Los Angeles City Council next March.
Blumenfield received 71,748 votes for 62.3 percent to Kolski's 43,433 votes for 37.7 percent.
In the 46th Assembly District, Democrat Adrin Nazarian, an aide to Los Angeles Councilman Paul Krekorian, easily won over Republican Jay Stern, a high school chemistry teacher. Nazarian captured 67,464 votes for 70.6 percent compared with Stern's 28,054 for 29.4 percent.