PASADENA — Tuesday’s election turned up victories for incumbents in Glendale-Burbank-area U.S. Congressional District races, while nationally the Democratic party took control of the House of Representatives.
Democratic gains in the legislature have widely been attributed to voter dissatisfaction with the policies of the Republican administration, notably the state of the war in Iraq.
Rep. Adam Schiff, a Democrat who represents parts of Glendale and Burbank, sustained his early election-night lead on Tuesday, securing 63.7% of the votes at the final tally.
At his victory party Schiff reminisced with his supporters about his election to the State Senate 10 years ago, when the Democratic Party took control of the senate. After that election, the Pasadena Star Weekly ran a headline, “There’s a new party in town,” he said.
“Maybe in the Washington papers tomorrow there’ll be that same headline,” he said Tuesday night. “It looks like the long wandering in the wilderness has come to an end.”
Schiff pledged to push for a change in direction in the war in Iraq.
Republican challenger William Bodell came in second at the polls with 27.6% of the vote, followed by Green Party candidate William Paparian, who received 5.4%.
Libertarian Jim Keller had a 1.5% return and Lynda Llamas, the Peace and Freedom Party candidate, took 1.8% of the vote.
Rep. Brad Sherman, also an incumbent, won the 27th District race with 69% of the vote. Republican challenger Peter Hankwitz, the only openly gay U.S. Congressional hopeful, finished with 31% of the vote.
With the Democrats taking control of Congress, Sherman’s victory will make him chairman of the subcommittee on terrorism and nonproliferation.
“Being in the majority is a lot better than being in the minority,” he said Tuesday from the Democratic Party Headquarters in Van Nuys.
The Democratic gains picked up in Congress, projected to be 29 seats, gives the party control of the House for the first time in 12 years.
Party officials say that Representative Nancy Pelosi, a Democrat from San Francisco, will likely become speaker of the house, the first female speaker in U.S. history.