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Mendoza unable to recapture state Senate seat

Wave Staff Report

NORWALK — Former state Sen. Tony Mendoza, who resigned from office in January after he was accused of sexually harassing former staffers, was unable to recapture his seat in voting June 5 in the California Primary election.

Mendoza finished third in a special election to fill the remaining months of his term and fourth in the primary election in the 32nd state Senate District.

Republican Rita Topalian of Whittier was the leading vote getter in both elections. She will face Montebello City Councilwoman Vanessa Delgado in the special election and Pico Rivera City Councilman Bob Archuleta in the general election in November.

Topalian received 24.89 percent in the special election to Delgado’s 16.49 percent. Mendoza was third at 14.51 percent.

In the primary election, Topalian received 24.07 percent of the vote to Archuleta’s18.52 percent. Mendoza was fourth with under 10 percent of the vote.

In other area legislative races, longtime labor leader Maria Elena Durazo will face Peter Choi in the 24th state Senate District, which serves most of the East Los Angeles area. The seat is being vacated by state Sen. Kevin De Leon. Durazo received more than 70 percent of the vote.

In the 49th Assembly District, serving Monterey Park and Alhambra, Democratic incumbent Ed Chau will face Republican Burton Brink in November.

Assemblywoman Wendy Carrillo was unopposed in the 51st Assmbly District, which covers most of East and Northeast Los Angeles.

In the 53rd Assembly District, Democratic incumbent Miguel Santiago will face another Democrat, Kevin Hee Young Jang, in November. Santiago received 69.78 percent of the vote; Jang received 15.97 percent. The district includes Boyle Heights, downtown Los Angeles and Vernon.

In the 57th Assembly District, Democratic incumbent Ian Calderon will face Republican Jessica Mendoza, an educator from La Habra. Calderon received 46.35 percent of the vote, almost doubling the 23.67 received by Mendoza.

The district includes Whittier, Santa Fe Springs and Norwalk.

In the 58th Assembly District, Democratic incumbent made it to November, receiving 28.71 percent of the vote. Garcia recently returned to Sacramento after taking a leave of absence while being investigated for sexual harassment and intimidation charges.

She faces Republican Mike Simpfenderfer, a victim’s advocate from Bellflower. Garcia received 28.71 percent of the vote and Simpfenderfer received 26.68 percent in the district that includes includes Bell Gardens, Bellflower, Commerce, Downey, Montebello, Norwalk and Pico Rivera.

In area congressional district races, Democratic incumbent Judy Chu will face fellow Democrat Bryan Witt, a railroad operations supervisor from Pasadena in November in the 27th Congressional District. Chu received 83.39 percent of the vote in the district includes Monterey Park and Alhambra.

In the 34th Congressional District, Democratic incumbent Jimmy Gomez will face Kenneth Mejia, an accountant representing the Green Party from Los Angeles. Gomez received 79.42 percent of the vote. The district includes Boyle Heights, El Sereno, City Terrace, Eagle Rock, Highland Park and Lincoln Heights.

In the 38th Congressional District, Democratic incumbent Linda Sanchez will face Republican Ryan Dowling, a taxpayer advocate from Norwalk. The district includes Bellflower, Montebello, Norwalk, Montebello, Pico Rivera, Santa Fe Springs and Whittier.

In the 40th Congressional District, Democratic incumbent Lucille Roybal-Allard faces Green Party candidate Rodolfo Barragan from Paramount. The district includes DowneyEast Los Angeles, Commerce, Paramount, Bell, Bell Gardens, Bellflower, Cudahy, Huntington Park and Maywood.

In the 44th Congressional District, which includes Lynwood and South Gate, incumbent Nanette Barragan faces Compton Mayor Aja L. Brown. Brown received 16.73 percent of the vote despite withdrawing from the race in March after announcing she was expecting her first child. Barragan received 65.82 percent of the vote.

Huntington Park voters approved a proposal to establish a one percent sales tax to support services and programs in the city.

The tentative results showed 73.6 percent of voters favored Measure S, with 26 percent opposing the measure, according to figures from the Los Angeles County Registrar of Voters.

A simple majority vote was required.

The Huntington Park City Council placed the sales tax measure on the ballot Feb. 20 after declaring a fiscal emergency. It was estimated that the tax will generate $7.1 million a year.

In another area ballot issue, voters in the Little Lake City School District based in Santa Fe Springs, apparently rejected, a proposal to continue for another five years an expiring property tax levy of $48 per parcel a year.

The vote was favored by 66.21 percent of voters, but 66.7 percent approval was required.

The district operates seven grade schools and two middle schools in Santa Fe Springs, northern Norwalk and part of eastern Downey.

Arnold Adler contributed to this story.