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46TH ASSEMBLY DISTRICT ELECTION : Friedman Rolls to Easy Victory for Roos Seat

TIMES POLITICAL WRITER

Democrat Barbara Friedman easily won election to the state Assembly from Los Angeles by defeating Republican Geoffrey C. Church and two minor-party candidates in a special election Tuesday in the inner-city 46th Assembly District.

Friedman, 41, the chief deputy city controller, will serve the remaining 16 months of the two-year term of Democrat Mike Roos, who resigned in March to become chief executive of a citizens group on education reform.

Friedman will become the third Democrat in the past three decades to serve the 46th, which includes a slice of downtown, Silver Lake, Los Feliz, eastern Hollywood and the mid-Wilshire and Pico-Union areas. Roos won the seat in a special election in 1977 after Charles Warren was appointed by then-President Jimmy Carter to be chairman of the President’s Council on Environmental Quality. Warren now is executive officer of the State Lands Commission.

Friedman’s election marks the expansion to downtown Los Angeles of the Westside-based political alliance led by Reps. Henry Waxman of Los Angeles and Howard Berman of Panorama City and Berman’s brother, political consultant Michael Berman. Other Waxman-Berman allies from Los Angeles include Assemblymen Terry Friedman, no relation to Barbara Friedman, and Burt Margolin, for whom Barbara Friedman once worked as chief of staff; state Sen. Herschel Rosenthal; Rep. Mel Levine, and state Controller Gray Davis.

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Friedman also had heavy financial support from organized labor.

Friedman’s victory was no surprise since the 46th is one of the most heavily Democratic of the state’s 80 Assembly districts in voter registration. Her real battle was winning the June 4 primary against a field of 11 other Democrats, finishing first by just 31 votes. Church, who lost to Roos in 1990, won the GOP nomination without opposition.

Also on the ballot Tuesday were Elizabeth Nakano of the Peace and Freedom Party and Michael Everling of the Libertarian Party.

Friedman’s election boosts the Democrats’ margin over Republicans in the Assembly to 47 to 31, with two vacancies, and raises the number of women members to 17.

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ELECTION RETURNS: Los Angeles

46th Assembly District: 79 of 124 Precincts Reporting

CANDIDATE VOTE % Barbara Friedman (D) 5,478 71.3% Geoffrey C. Church (R) 1,654 21.5% Elizabeth Nakano (P)* 431 5.6% Michael Everling (L)** 122 1.6%

* Peace and Freedom

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** Libertarian


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