SACRAMENTO — Democratic Assemblywoman Holly Mitchell has won a two-way race for a vacant state Senate seat, as expected, while the top-two vote-getters will head to a special runoff election to fill a vacancy in the state Assembly.
Mitchell collected 81 percent of the vote in one of two Los Angeles-area special legislative elections Tuesday. The seats opened after two legislators were elected to the Los Angeles City Council.
Mitchell easily defeated fellow Democrat Mervin Evans in the race to replace Curren Price in the 26th Senate District. Her victory will force another special election to fill her Assembly seat, but bolsters Democrats’ two-thirds majority in the 40-member Senate.
Meanwhile, a Democrat and a Republican appear headed to a Nov. 19 runoff after they received the most votes among 11 candidates seeking to replace former Democratic Assemblyman Bob Blumenfield in the nearby 45th Assembly District.
Democrat Matt Dababneh of Encino had 25 percent of the votes while Republican Susan Shelley of Woodland Hills had 21 percent with all precincts reporting.
The Los Angeles County Registrar of Voters said late Wednesday that 6,208 ballots remained uncounted in both districts, although the office could not provide a breakdown for each race. The registrar did not provide turnout figures for each election, but it appeared to be less than 10 percent.
Dababneh, chief deputy to Congressman Brad Sherman, was among seven Democrats seeking the seat and has the edge in voter registration heading into the special general election. About 49 percent of the district’s voters are registered as Democrats, 25 percent are Republicans and 17 percent decline-to-state.
Shelley, an author and former congressional candidate, was one of three Republican candidates. One of the 11 candidates ran as an independent.
The 45th Assembly District includes the southwest San Fernando Valley communities of Encino, Northridge and West Hills, as well as the cities of Calabasas and Hidden Hills, all in Los Angeles County, plus a sliver of Ventura County.
The heavily Democratic Senate district won by Mitchell is entirely within Los Angeles County. It includes the Hollywood, Hollywood Park, Crenshaw and South-Central neighborhoods of Los Angeles, along with Baldwin Hills, Century City, Culver City and Hyde Park.
Mitchell must run again next year in a newly-drawn district because Price resigned midterm.
Her win temporarily erodes the Democrats’ near-supermajority in the 80-member Assembly, although the Legislature adjourned last week and will not reconvene until January.