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TORRANCE DAILY BREEZE: Lieu to be sworn in Friday to 28th Senate District seat
February 16, 2011
By Eric Bradley Staff Writer
Ted Lieu, who won a special election Tuesday for the 28th Senate District seat, will be sworn in Friday to help fellow Democrats put a package of tax extensions up for a June vote.
Lieu, the former assemblyman from Torrance, took 57.1 percent of the vote, avoiding a runoff in the special election created by the death of Long Beach Democrat Jenny Oropeza on Oct. 20.
Mark Hedlund, press secretary for Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, D-Sacramento, said Lieu will be sworn in quickly because the election's outcome is not in doubt.
"They wouldn't do this if it was a question," Hedlund said.
The 28th District special election was one of two held Tuesday in Los Angeles County. In the 17th Senate District, Republican Sharon Runner of Lancaster also avoided a runoff by taking 63.6 percent of the vote. The Senate will swear in Runner on Friday along with Lieu.
The Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk's Office plans to officially certify the results by Feb. 28.
Senate Democrats are moving with alacrity on behalf of Gov. Jerry Brown, who seeks an extension of taxes levied on income, sales and vehicles to help close a $25 billion budget gap.
Lieu will become the 25th Senate Democrat in a body of 40, placing Democrats two votes short of the 27 needed to create a two-thirds majority - and getting the tax issue on the ballot.
Lieu said he supports the tax extensions as part of a "reasonable approach" by Brown to fix the budget.
"Let's do this through half cuts and half revenues," Lieu said.
Lieu may oppose some cuts proposed by Brown.
As an example, he pointed to Brown's planned elimination of the Adult Day Health Care Program, which provides care to low-income seniors. Getting rid of the program would save $178 million.
However, Lieu said he will work in the coming weeks to identify other cuts to meet the goals set by the governor.
In other areas, Lieu voiced his support to reduce "unreasonable and unnecessary regulation" on businesses, and pushed for tax credits for aerospace, Silicon Valley and other economic areas where California has an advantage.
"Incentivizing industries where we can compete in the long term is a way to get out of the recession," Lieu said.
Had Lieu not won a majority on Tuesday, the state's new "jungle primary" law would have sent him and the next highest vote-earner - regardless of party - to an April 19 runoff, complicating the budget plans of Democrats.
Republican Bob Valentine got closest to Lieu, taking 25.1 percent of the vote.
He speculated that the short campaign season - just six weeks - hampered his efforts.
Valentine, a Manhattan Beach attorney and longtime president of the Beacon House Association of San Pedro, said the voters he talked to wanted a change.
"There was a frustration level that I perceived in the people, that they just didn't think anything would be different unless there was some sort of change in personnel," he said.
Valentine said he congratulated Lieu, and praised the "high road" the eight candidates in the race took in regard to the campaign's tone.
Trailing Lieu and Valentine were Republican Martha Flores-Gibson with 6.7 percent; nonpartisan candidate Mark Lipman, 3.4 percent; Democrat Kevin McGurk, 2.5 percent; Republican James P. Thompson, 2.3 percent; Republican Jeff Fortini, 2.2 percent; and Coffee Party candidate Michael Chamness, 0.5 percent.
28th Senate District - (Unexpired term ending November 2014)
308 of 308 precincts
-------------------Votes - Pct.
Ted Lieu (D) 27,982 57.1%
Bob Valentine (R) 12,296 25.1%
Martha F. Gibson (R) 3,284 6.7%
Mark Lipman (NP) 1,670 3.4%
Kevin McGurk (D) 1,243 2.5%
James Thompson (R) 1,146 2.4%
Jeffrey Fortini (R) 1,095 2.3%
Michael Chamness (NP) 255 0.5%