The Associated Press has called the Senate District 29 race for Democratic newcomer Josh Newman, who is currently leading GOP Assemblywoman Ling Ling Chang by a razor-thin margin of 50.3% to 49.7.
Millions of dollars were poured into what became a nasty campaign, which was correctly expected to decide Democrat efforts to regain a super-majority in the state Senate. Newman unexpectedly defeat the establishment Democratic candidate – former Irvine Mayor Sukhee Kang – in the primary. It was a very hard-fought campaign and Chang was a strong candidate, but she was ultimately unable to overcome the strong Democratic turnout – she led Newman by several thousand votes, but her lead took a serious hit after ballots from the Anaheim portion of SD29 were counted, and evaporated as provisional ballots were counted.
Newman told the Los Angeles Times:
“I am immensely honored to have earned the trust and support of so many of my neighbors, who’ve placed their faith and trust in me as their next state senator,” Newman said in a statement, crediting his supporters with helping counter what he called the “obscene levels of spending” in the race.
Newman succeeds Republican Bob Huff. SD29 has been trending Democratic: Democrat and Republican registration is almost exactly equal:
- 120,520 Democrats
- 120,494 Republicans
- 74,784 No Party Preference
OC Daily conducted an in-depth, issues-oriented interview with Newman in August, published as in five parts (parts One, Two, Three, Four and Five), which show him to be a relatively independent-minded Democrat willing to break from the progressive orthodoxy.