It was back to work on Wednesday for Republican Assemblyman Cameron Smyth, who won Tuesday’s race against Democrat Carole Lutness for the 38th District.
The day after the election, Smyth was in Sacramento preparing for today’s special session called by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.
“The immediate focus is working on the special session and the budget concerns we have here,” he said.
Smyth beat Lutness by earning 54.1 percent of the votes compared to Lutness’ 45.9 percent, according to figures from the state of California.
“I see it as a validation of the work that I put in the last two years and I’m also very pleased to see that I received 15 percent of my support from voters other than Republicans,” Smyth said.
Smyth believes he was able to reach across party lines, which led to his re-election.
“Trying to do what’s right for California regardless of ideology is something that my constituents support, and I’ll keep doing it,” he said.
Smyth knew it was going to be a tough year for Republicans, prompting an increased effort in campaigning aimed at new voters.
“We wanted to make sure that our message was received by them,” he said.
Lutness said she had it tough going into a race against Smyth.
“I ran a David and Goliath race,” she said Wednesday. “We did everything we could to get our message out.”
But with Barack Obama’s win, Lutness thinks the political climate will soon change, even in the Santa Clarita Valley.
“I believe this era of ultra right-wing ideological-based Republicanism is going to die,” she said.
Lutness believes Democrats are increasing their presence in the valley.
“We will continue to work for the people and represent all the voices of this community,” she said. “The people have a right to determine the quality of their lives. Corporations should work for the people.”
Democrats make modest gains in Legislature: Democrats won three seats held by Republicans and were leading in a tight race for a fourth Wednesday as the partisan makeup of the California Legislature shifted slightly to the left.
The party, however, was denied the two-thirds majority needed to pass state budgets and tax increases without Republican help.