Assemblywoman Sydney Kamlager (D-Baldwin Hills) won the special election for the Senate 30th district seat Tuesday, with over 67% of the vote.
The election, triggered by then-Senator Holly Mitchell winning an L.A. County Board of Supervisors seat in November, was the first special election held in California this year.
According to the Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk, Assemblywoman Kamlager received 38, 596 votes amounting to a percentage of 67.67%, enough of a margin to avoid a runoff election later this year. In a distant second place was Democratic Culver City Councilman Daniel Lee with 7,677 votes, or 13.46%. In third place was Republican businessman Joe Lisuzzo who finished with 3,814 votes, or 6.69%.
“It will be a great honor to work with Senate President pro Tem Toni Atkins,” said Kamlager in a tweet on Wednesday. “I’m fired up and ready to get right to work as a member of the California State Senate. #BlackGirlMagic”
It will be a great honor to work with Senate President pro Tem Toni Atkins. I'm fired up and ready to get right to work as a member of the California State Senate. #BlackGirlMagic https://t.co/c6n4fbny6W
— Sydney Kamlager (@sydneykamlager) March 3, 2021
The final result on Tuesday was of little surprise for Democrats. The 30th district, which stretches from Downtown Los Angeles to Culver City, has an overwhelming Democratic-leaning majority, with 65% of the district being registered Democrats. The large black population in the district has also ensured that a black democrat has won every Senate race in the area since 1974. Kamlager is very well known in the area as well, as an Assemblywoman in the 54th Assembly district, a district which covers half of the 30th Senate district. With backing both from the party and from Supervisor Mitchell, many analysts said that the race was hers to lose.
“She held all the cards to win from day one back in November when this started,” said State Capitol staffer “Dana,” to the Globe. “Everyone who mentioned it today said it was just a foregone conclusion.”
Kamlager has said that she was prompted to run for the open seat because Mitchell wanted her to take her old seat, and to have a Senate position with the COVID-19 pandemic still going, as well as the resulting recession, which Kamlager called the “urgency of the moment.”
“Poverty, which I’ve spent a lifetime battling, has taken a quantum jump this last year,” said Kamlager earlier this year while campaigning. “The upheaval thrust upon California’s working families by the pandemic requires relentless, bold action to steer us safely to full recovery. That means getting folks back to work, getting students back in classrooms, keeping people in their homes and expanding affordable housing and getting our economy back on track.”
“We’re in the middle of an enormously important budget and legislative session, addressing COVID and people’s urgent needs. This is a moment that requires someone who knows how to build consensus among lawmakers and win the votes necessary to usher in real change to our criminal legal system, health care for all, and climate action.”
Kamlager’s victory spurs another special election for an Assembly seat
Fellow Democrats welcomed Kamlager on Wednesday in a series of Tweets, including one from Senate President Pro Tem Toni Atkins (D-San Diego).
“Extending a big congratulations and welcome to my soon-to-be fellow Senator, Sydney Kamlager. Asm. Kamlager is a champion for women’s rights, civil rights, criminal justice reform, and equality,” said Senator Atkins in the Tweet. “SD 30 can count on her steadfast service.”
Extending a big congratulations and welcome to my soon-to-be fellow Senator, @sydneykamlager! Asm. Kamlager is a champion for women’s rights, civil rights, criminal justice reform, and equality. SD 30 can count on her steadfast service.
— Senator Toni Atkins (@SenToniAtkins) March 3, 2021
Kamlager’s Tuesday victory will cause another special election for her soon to be vacant Assembly seat. A special election must be conducted between 126 days and 140 days after the Governor announces a new special election. This one is likely to fall in either July or August later this year, depending on how quickly Governor Gavin Newsom gives the official proclamation.
So far, two major candidates have announced their candidacies. Isaac Bryan, a longtime advisor to Kamlager, is receiving many endorsements, including from Kamlager. However, the other major candidate, Heather Hutt, a former state director for then Senator Kamala Harris, may have the Vice President’s backing this summer. Other candidates are also expected to join in the race before the filing deadline.
Kamlager is to be sworn in as a California state Senator sometime later this month.
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