Stern wins tight race in 27th Senate contest


The race for the 27th Senate—representing a portion of the Santa Clarita Valley and communities in western Los Angeles and Ventura Counties—featured two newcomers to the ballot.

Republican Steve Fazio and Democrat Henry Stern were vying for the position to replace longtime Senator Fran Pavley, D-Agoura Hills, a strong supporter of environmental and educational issues.

The results were close Tuesday night and Wednesday morning as election votes were tallied in the district.  However, Stern took the lead and won the election with 149,515 votes, or 55 percent.  Fazio received 122,291 votes, or 45 percent.

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“A lot of hard work went into this,” Stern said of his campaign.  “I am honored for the support of people out in Santa Clarita and the Signal’s endorsement… I am going to work hard every day to represent that region of LA County.”

Stern’s immediate goals for the district include opening a full-service office to serve the needs of everyone in the district, working on putting new infrastructure in place and addressing the possible re-opening of Aliso Canyon.

“We think it is premature,” Stern said of the possible opening of Aliso Canyon.  “They have to figure out what happened there first.

Stern and his team watched the election results roll in and celebrated the end of a long campaign at Ladyface Alehouse in Agoura Hills, Calif. Tuesday evening.

“It was a strange night because a lot of people were happy about my victory, but troubled about the broader election,” he said.

However, Stern said the results of the presidential election got people excited about the work he can do in the district and in California.

“I am excited to get to work,” Stern said.

During the campaign, the race was seemingly calm and civil between the two candidates until Fazio launched television commercials attacking Stern for his upbringing and education in Malibu, Calif.

Fazio, a 56-year-old Woodland Hills businessman and former reserve police officer with the Los Angeles Police Department, followed a classic republican mindset of “small government, big business.”

“We need some relief for employers,” he said when asked about job creation. “We need small stimulus packages. I can’t find one piece of legislation that does anything to help people in small business.”

Stern, a 34-year-old Canoga Park environmental attorney and adviser to Pavley, sees aerospace, entertainment, biotech and energy as thriving industries in Southern California.

“These are areas I believe have long-term growth potential and need the right regulatory climate,” he said.

Stern was particularly concerned with the Aliso Canyon gas leak in Porter Ranch and the necessity of environmental regulations.

Both Fazio and Stern understood the frustrations with water regulations in the Santa Clarita Valley and the need to reassess fees placed on homeowners.

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On Twitter as @_ChristinaCox_

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