Republicans Prevail in Local Districts

Laguna Beach representatives in state government seats and in the U.S. Congress have changed across the board, but remained in Republican hands despite the redrawing of district lines that went into effect this year. With a shifting of district lines, our former incumbent, Rep. John Campbell, moved to the 45th district where he ran successfully against Irvine’s Democratic mayor Sukhee Kang. The incumbent for the 48th District, Rep. Dana Rohrabacher carried the day against Democratic contender Ron Varasteh, with 62 percent of the vote.

Republican Mimi Walters garnered 58 percent of the votes in the state Senate race for District 37 against Democratic challenger Steve Young, while Republican Allan Mansoor bested Democrat Robert Rush in district 74’s state Assembly race by the same margin.

Walters previously represented the 33rd state senate district, but subsequent to the redrawing of district lines that went into effect last year, she apparently moved from Laguna Niguel to Irvine in order to run in the 37th district. Mansoor, too, changed districts. The former incumbent state assembly representative for District 68, he was redistricted into the 74th for this election.

At the county level, three new trustees were elected in the South Orange County Community College District, with Dave Lang, Bill Jay and Tim Jemal gaining seats as governing board members in Areas 1, 3 and 7, respectively.

Statewide registered Republicans have dropped below 30 percent, to 29.4 percent of all voters, compared to 31.4 percent in 2008. Orange County supports that trend with Republicans representing 42 percent of voters this year, compared to 45 percent in 2008.

Republicans and Democrats are nearly neck and neck in Laguna Beach, where, out of a total of 19,127 registered voters, 7,038 are Democrats and 6,703 Republicans. A total of 4,285 registered for no political party, with smaller parties getting the remainder, including 597 American Independents, 177 Green Party members and 184 Libertarians.

Data from Tuesday’s election also showed a continued increase in the percentage of vote-by-mail voters in Orange County, a percentage that began to rise when permanent vote-by-mail laws went into effect in 2004 and that by 2010 surpassed the percentage of voters going to polling places.

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