38th District Assembly race frontrunners celebrate win

Signal file photo of the state's Capitol building in Sacramento

For the first time in 30 years, the 38th Assembly District general election will feature two women going head-to-head to represent a community that includes most of the Santa Clarita Valley, as well as portions of the San Fernando and Simi valleys.

Two Republicans, Suzette Martinez Valladares and Lucie Lapointe Volotzky, both earned enough votes to make it to November on Tuesday, beating out five other candidates for the top two spots.

Valladares received the most support, with 23,454 votes (33%). Volotzky came in second with 13,698 votes (19.3%).

The next two closest vote-getters were Democratic candidates Kelvin Driscoll and Annie Cho, who received 8,124 (11.4%) and 8,119 (11.4%), respectively.

Valladares thanked her supporters in a statement issued on Wednesday, also thanking community leaders who had helped her along the way, including Santa Clarita Mayor Cameron Smyth and Simi Valley Mayor Keith Mashburn; state Sen. Scott Wilk, R-Santa Clarita; and Assemblyman Tom Lackey, R-Palmdale.

“The voters in our community and across the state have issued a referendum,” Valladares said. “We are tired of the Sacramento leadership that has been in power for decades — California’s skyrocketing cost of living, along with the housing and homeless crisis, are evidence that current leadership has failed miserably and my candidacy represents a clear fresh opportunity for change.”

After learning she’d be moving onto the general election, Volotzky said she spent time with her family, including her grandchildren. She ignored the traditional trappings of a political campaign, she said, instead deciding to keep her support team tight and her campaign grassroots.

“To build a team takes time, so I decided to strategize myself on how I can succeed, to become the front-runner, and I guess the way I strategized worked in my favor,” said Volotzky. “I was very, very pleased because whether we talked to Democrats or Republicans, we were shaking hands with everyone.”

Both candidates expressed confidence that they would be the newest Assembly member come November.

“Voters would like to see balance in Sacramento and a voice that represents their values,” said Valladares. “That voice is mine.”

“I feel very confident that I’ll end well in November,” said Volotzky. “Now we are going to a different strategy on growing our team. I’m already starting to think about that today, because it’s a long process with more than seven months.”

The general election is set to take place on Nov. 3.

In 1990, the last time two women faced off in the general election, Democrat Irene Allert faced off against Republican Paula Boland. Boland represented the 38th Assembly District from 1990-96.

Additional races

State Senate District 21

Incumbent Scott Wilk, a Republican legislator who also served in the Assembly, received a majority vote (55.5%, 59,255 votes) as the only GOP candidate among four other Democratic hopefuls. He will face off in November against Kipp Mueller, who earned 17.2% of the vote (18,354 votes).

State Senate District 27

Also an incumbent, Democratic Henry Stern faced his only opponent, Republican Houman Salem. Stern earned 82,239 votes at 59.8% of the vote and Salem received 40.2% at 55,180 votes.

State Assembly District 36

Republican Assemblyman Tom Lackey claimed a reelection victory after totals showed that he earned 56.6% of the vote or 26,334 votes in a pool of six other candidates who are all Democratic. He will head to the general election in November with challenger Steve Fox, who earned 15.9% of the vote (7,413).

Staff writer Tammy Murga contributed to this report.

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