Republican Janet Nguyen was elected Tuesday to a state Senate seat in Orange County that had been targeted by both major parties.
The seat, in the 34th Senate District, was open because Democratic incumbent Lou Correa of Santa Ana was prevented by term limits from running for reelection. Democrats have a five-percentage-point advantage in voter registration.
Nguyen defeated Jose Solorio, 44, president of the Rancho Santiago Community College District Board, who previously served for six years in the state Assembly.
He was seen as a key to Democrats regaining a supermajority in the state Senate, which would make it easier to put a measure before voters seeking a revision of Proposition 13, California's landmark tax-limitation law.
Nguyen, 38, is a Garden Grove resident who serves on the Orange County Board of Supervisors.
Nguyen attacked Solorio in television ads and mailers by quoting the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Assn. as calling her opponent "one of the greatest threats to Proposition 13 on this year's ballot."