With the foregone conclusion now behind us in the 43rd Assembly District race, we now look ahead to the November general election — giving incumbent Democrat Mike Gatto (D-Silver Lake) and his Republican challenger, Glendale Unified school board member Greg Krikorian, less than five months to step up their messages.
Until now, the campaign has been a snoozer, both in terms of volume and message. That, admittedly, may have just been a judicious use of resources by both camps — why spend a ton of money and effort when you're assured a spot on the general election ballot under the state's new primary election rules?
But there can be only one victor in November, and given Krikorian's stronger-than-expected showing — he got 43.7% of the vote to Gatto's 56.3% in a district where Democratic Party registration is at 44.2% — this campaign may be anything but a foregone conclusion.
(And for the record, Republican registration in the 43rd Assembly District is 26.3%, with the rest — 29.5% — declining to state or with some other party.)
Granted, voter participation was abysmal, but the primary at least showed that scale isn't completely tipped.
When Gatto was first elected, talk was rampant about the potential loss of local redevelopment. Now, it has happened, imposing a crushing weight on municipal budgets, particularly in Glendale. Education funding cuts are forcing some hard decisions at school districts and community colleges. Money for affordable housing has been all but sapped.
If ever there was a time for our candidates to draw a clearly defined picture of how they intend to address these issues, this is it.