Skip to main content

In a stunning upset, Democrat Steve Fox defeated Republican Ron Smith to become the next assemblymember for California's 36th State Assembly district. Democrats now have 55 seats, giving them a one-seat cushion to their supermajority (two-thirds being 54 seats).

After a final update from Los Angeles County, the vote count stands at

Steve Fox (D) 66,005 50.05%
Ron Smith (R) 65,860 49.95%
The 36th district is centered in northern Los Angeles County and southeastern Kern County. The Antelope Valley, consisting of Lancaster and Palmdale, form the bulk of the district. No Democrat has represented this area at the state legislative or congressional level in recent memory.

The significance of this win probably surpasses that of Sharon Quirk-Silva in AD-65 (Fullerton/Buena Park). Whereas Quirk-Silva was the mayor of Fullerton, Steve Fox was really a Some Dude candidate who managed to sneak up from behind.

A cursory look at their websites shows a stark contrast between the two candidates. Compare: the establishment candidate and presumed winner Ron Smith and the actual winner Steve Fox.

Or look at their campaign finance records. Republican Ron Smith raised almost $265,000, an average amount for an noncompetitive race. Democrat Steve Fox raised around $21,000. No, that's not a typo.

Here's another thing about Fox. He ran in the Republican primary in 2008 for this seat, coming in last place (out of three candidates) and losing to Steve Knight, who vacated this seat for a somewhat safer one in the state senate. While Democrats should welcome Fox into the fold, we must also remind him how he got to Sacramento: on the votes of Democrats and liberal-leaning independents who want to see Democratic principles leading our state back into prosperity.

California Democrats have won seats and expanded the map far beyond their wildest dreams this election cycle. Let's keep that up and keep it going.

4:20 PM PT Update: The last Democrat to represent this area was Larry Chimbole, who represented what was then AD-34 (Antelope Valley/High Desert) from 1974 to 1978.

Strangely and perhaps ominously, Fox signed the no-tax pledge but supported Prop 30.

6:52 PM PT: Another weird tidbit: Steve Fox was a former Antelope Valley Hospital Medical Center trustee that was recalled in 1992. He is also a former Antelope Valley College trustee. So he's not a complete Some Dude candidate.

Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags


More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site