Capitol Alert

The latest on California politics and government

November 27, 2013
Near-wins for Assembly Republicans prompt talk of missed chances

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Only 329 votes stood between Assembly Republicans and an upset special election victory last week in the San Fernando Valley's 45th Assembly District.

In September, a longtime Republican-newly-registered-independent finished just 400 votes behind the Democrat in the Inland Empire's 52nd Assembly District.

Wins in both seats would have eliminated Assembly Democrats' two-thirds supermajority in the lower house. Not only did Democrats barely eke out victories in districts where they have large registration advantages, an Assembly Republican caucus that regularly bemoans Democrats' dominance all but sat out the races.

Last week's close finish has prompted grumbling that the caucus missed another chance to increase its relevance and give a morale-boosting shot in the arm to the California GOP heading into an election year. In a special election in July, Senate Republicans picked up a Central Valley seat with strong Democratic leanings.

"Unfortunately we did miss an opportunity there," Assemblyman Brian Jones, R-Santee, said of last week's outcome in the 45th, where Democrat Matt Dababneh has declared victory over Republican Susan Shelley. Shelley has until Monday to request a recount.

"I don't think anybody could have predicted that turnout was going to be that low," Jones said. "When turnout is that low, Republicans tend to turn out to vote and Democrats don't."


Capitol Alert Staff

Jeremy White Jeremy B. White covers California politics and edits Capitol Alert's mobile Insider Edition. Twitter: @capitolalert

Amy Chance Amy Chance is political editor for The Sacramento Bee. Twitter: @Amy_Chance

Dan Smith Dan Smith is Capitol bureau chief for The Sacramento Bee.

Christopher Cadelago Christopher Cadelago covers California politics and health care. Twitter: @ccadelago

Micaela Massimino Micaela Massimino edits Capitol Alert.

Laurel Rosenhall Laurel Rosenhall covers the Legislature, the lobbying community and higher education. Twitter: @LaurelRosenhall

David Siders David Siders covers the Brown administration. Twitter: @davidsiders

Dan Walters Dan Walters is a columnist for The Sacramento Bee. Twitter: @WaltersBee

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