Richardson Tops Field in California Special, Election All but Assured

Posted June 27, 2007 at 8:41am

California Assemblywoman Laura Richardson (D) beat state Sen. Jenny Oropeza (D) Tuesday in the special election to replace the late Rep. Juanita Millender-McDonald (D), garnering 37.8 percent of the vote to Oropeza’s 31.3 percent with all precincts reporting. Although a runoff will occur Aug. 21 because Richardson failed to top 50 percent in a candidate field that was 17 deep, the overwhelming Democratic nature of the Southern California, Long Beach-area 37th district means Richardson has effectively won the right to serve out the remainder of Millender-McDonald’s term. “I just thank God,” Richardson told the Long Beach Press Telegram on Tuesday night. “It’s not just about money and it’s not just about the number of years you’ve served. It’s about what’s in your heart.” Valerie McDonald (D), the daughter of Millender-McDonald, secured 9.4 percent of the vote to finish in third place. The Republican nominee, John Kanaley, finished fourth in the voting with 7.6 percent. Richardson, Kanaley and a couple of minor party candidates will proceed to the August runoff, which Richardson is expected to win in a walk. — David M. Drucker