The race for the 36th Assembly was a rematch from the 2014 race between Republican Tom Lackey and Democrat Steve Fox, but this time, it was not as close of a call.
Incumbent lacked won re-election to the California Assembly with 52,761 votes, or 56.1 percent, while Fox drew 41,348 votes, or 43.9 percent, from constituents in the district.
The Lackey campaign was anxiously watching the returns come in at a watch party at Kinetic Brewing Co. in Lancaster and at the campaign headquarters.
Lackey, a former city of Palmdale councilmember and retired California Highway Patrol Officer, focused on public safety, affordable taxes, education improvement and job growth during his two years in office.
He combatted “drugged driving,” increased funding for development disability programs and restored felony penalties for those found in possession of “date rape drugs” and authored a bill to help relieve the water crisis in Bouquet Canyon.
“My life experiences have allowed me to represent the district well here,” said Lackey, who spent most of his life in the district. “These last two years have been very beneficial and we have gotten a lot done.”
Fox, an attorney and former school teacher, served as the 36th District Assemblyman from 2012 to 2014. During his time in office, he concentrated on improving jobs, the local economy and educational opportunities.
He authored an aerospace bill to bring more than 6,000 jobs to the district and the Middle Class Scholarship Act to bring additional funding to local schools.
Lackey believes the state should be fiscally prudent and spend funds in the transportation field to remedy problems facing the more than 100,000 commuters each day. He believes bringing more jobs to the area could be the solution.
“We need to bring more jobs in Santa Clarita, Palmdale and Lancaster so people won’t have to travel as far; so they won’t have to commute and can bring their jobs here,” he said.
For Fox, the solution was expanding freeways and setting restrictions on what items could go on the roads. He was vehemently against increasing taxes and supported a reduction in environmentally business restrictions.
Both candidates cited their bipartisanship leadership, willing to work with both Republicans and Democrats to get legislation passed and fairly represent their constituents.
On Twitter as @_ChristinaCox_