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Local incumbents hold on strong, despite nationwide changes

November 03, 2010|By Joe Piasecki, joe.piasecki@latimes.com
(Joe Piasecki )

Republican Rep. David Dreier cruised to victory over his main challenger, Democrat Russ Warner, Tuesday night with 54.5% to 36.9%, according to the Los Angeles County registrar.

Assemblyman Anthony Portantino trounced his main opponent, Republican Alvaro Day, 64.2% to 32.1%, with all precincts reporting.

"Part of what I'm blessed with is the bipartisan support that I get for my message, which is focus on education, focus on the economy and focus on fiscal responsibility, with certain core values such as protecting the environment," Portantino said. "Whether people are Republicans or Democrats, they want their children to get a good education, and they want a job."

Despite Portantino's win and other statewide Democratic victories, some local Republicans said they were satisfied that they'd made an impact at the ballot box.

"I think we shook a whole lot of people alive. I think we inspired a lot of people who would normally have let [voting] slide," said Marv Owen, a board member for the Republican Club of the Foothills.

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The gains nationwide also helped inspire hope for the next major election, local Republicans said.

"We're getting ready for the big one in 2012, and this was an important trial run," said Mary Wollam, a longtime La Cañada resident and chairwoman of the Republican Club of the Foothills.

Republican or Democrat, there was a little something for everyone in Tuesday's election results.

Politically active La Cañada Flintridge residents who gathered at either Democratic or Republican election night celebrations in Pasadena each found reason to cheer, with Democrats picking up most major state offices and Republicans watching nationwide victories give the GOP control over the House of Representatives.

Local Democratic campaign volunteers gathered at the Burgers Continental restaurant to congratulate Portantino on defeating Day while watching CNN and KTLA 5 name Jerry Brown as the new governor and Sen. Barbara Boxer the reigning incumbent over their cash-flush Republican challengers.

"We put a lot of effort into the Democratic campaign and it seems to be paying off," said Cañada Crescenta Democratic Club President Dana Runge.

Republicans partied with Day and local Tea Party organizers in a ballroom at the historic Castle Green, where they stayed glued to FOX News for nationwide election coverage.

"We had so many people behind us, and I love the enthusiasm in the room," Day said. "The national results are truly inspiring."

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