Democrat Dababneh wins Assembly race, according to final canvass

A voter casts a ballot in Los Angeles in an election earlier this year. An Assembly vote Tuesday resulted in a win for Democrat Matt Dababneh of Encino, according to a final canvass.
(Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)

SACRAMENTO -- Democrat Matt Dababneh of Encino has won the special election for the vacant 45th Assembly District by a narrow margin, restoring a Democratic supermajority in the lower house, according to the final vote canvass completed Friday.

Republican Susan Shelley of Woodland Hills said Friday she was not sure whether she would seek a recount after the final tally showed Dababneh won by 329 votes out of more than 29,000 cast in last Tuesday’s election.

“I’m speaking with party officials and attorneys now,” she said in an email. “It’s my understanding that we have five calendar days after the results are certified to ask for a recount.”

The lead in voting Dababneh held on election night nearly doubled with the counting of 2,841 provisional and absentee ballots.


The final margin had Dababneh receiving 50.6% of the vote to 49.4% for Shelley.

“I’m looking forward to working very hard to address the challenges facing our community and our state,” Dababneh said.

Democrats enjoy a 2-1 advantage in voter registration, but Shelley campaigned hard, arguing that Democrats might gut Proposition 13, the tax-limitation measure, if they get a two-thirds majority in the Legislature.

“Matt Dababneh’s victory ushers in another member of a new generation of Democrats shaping our state’s future,” said Assembly Speaker John Pérez (D-Los Angeles). “Although Democrats once again enjoy a two-thirds majority in the Assembly, we will continue to work on bipartisan solutions to the challenges facing our state.”


Dababneh, 32, is a chief deputy to U.S. Rep. Brad Sherman (D-Sherman Oaks). Shelley, 54, is an author and publisher.


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