Long Beach 47th Congressional District: Lowenthal defeats DeLong
Posted: 11/06/2012 10:41:29 PM PST
Updated: 11/07/2012 05:54:38 AM PST
Democratic state Sen. Alan Lowenthal has defeated Republican Gary DeLong in the race for the Long Beach-to-western Orange County 47th Congressional District.
With 100 percent of precincts reporting, Lowenthal had 55.4 percent of the vote to DeLong's 44.6 percent, according to the California Secretary of State's Office.
Orange County precincts, which DeLong hoped would ease a path toward victory, have all been counted, leaving him with little hope of closing the gap.
Lowenthal, 71, will go to Congress after a 20-year political career that he began as a community organizer who won a seat on the Long Beach City Council and then, the Assembly.
"At each step I never thought I was going to move to somewhere else," Lowenthal said late Tuesday.
"I'm overwhelmed. I've tried really hard to represent my community. I think it will sink in tomorrow."
The 52-year-old DeLong, the owner of a telecommunications consulting firm, couldn't be reached for comment early Wednesday.
Political observers gave the Republican long odds in his quest to defeat Lowenthal for a new seat drawn during independent redistricting last year.
The district skews Democrat — at last count completed two weeks ago,
Still, DeLong, a moderate who is pro-choice and supports gay marriage, worried Democrats enough to warrant sharp attacks and attempts to
In a closely-watched campaign where both sides often howled behind the scenes about the misdeeds and misrepresentations of their opponent, it was DeLong who attracted the most public attention when he was videotaped at a Rossmoor Homeowners Association event saying he did not see scientific evidence of climate change.
He later issued a statement that said climate change is influenced by man and natural conditions. His campaign claimed the recorded comments were taken out of context.
On the campaign trail, DeLong held traditional fiscal conservative views but didn't rule out raising taxes if all other approaches had been exhausted.
Lowenthal has endorsed President Barack Obama's agenda, including the Affordable Care Act and the American Jobs Act, and also supports environmentally-friendly policies and upgrades to the educations system, such as expanding the role of community colleges.
A close-run and occasionally nasty campaign was true to its tone Tuesday, when Lowenthal fired a campaign staffer who allegedly stole DeLong signs in Stanton.
The episode caused Lowenthal to issue an unusual Election Day statement disavowing the action.
"This incident does not reflect on my values for how campaigns should be conducted," said Lowenthal.
The night began on a hopeful note for DeLong supporters, who cheered when their candidate was ahead in the first returns from a watch party at the Long Beach Yacht Club.
At the end of the night, though, it was Lowenthal backers who celebrated their candidate's victory — and President Barack Obama's re-election — at La Traviata downtown.
"It was an emphatically great night," said Andy Kincaid of Long Beach.
"Now the tough stuff comes because you have to form a new governing coalition."
Kincaid suggested, considering the partisan gap dividing the two parties after a bruising election year, that Democrats approach that task "with humility."
email@example.com, 562-714-2104, twitter.com/EricBradleyPT