By Raychel Stewart and Tammy Murga
Early returns on Election Day showed some legislative incumbents led their races, while newcomers took sizable leads over their opponents in the state Senate and Assembly races whose districts include portions of the Santa Clarita Valley.
21 Senate District
In the race for the 21st Senate District, which represents the Antelope, Santa Clarita and Victor valleys, incumbent Scott Wilk, R-Santa Clarita, fell behind in the race with 116,709 votes (48.5%) of the vote as of 10 p.m. with 81.6% of the precincts reporting.
Leading the race was Democratic challenger Kipp Mueller, a workers right attorney, with 123,705 votes, or 51.56%, according to the California Secretary of State.
In a pool with three other Democratic candidates during the March primary election, Wilk and Mueller earned the top votes. The incumbent received 53% of the vote or 96,700 votes and Mueller received 19% of the vote, or 34,200 votes, according to state data.
27th Senate District
In the race for the 27th Senate District, incumbent Henry Stern was leading opponent Houman Salem by 222,062 votes (62.8%) while Salem was behind with 131,759 (37.2%) with 92% of the precincts reporting.
Stern led the March primary election with 64% of the vote, or a tally of more than 158,100, placing his Republican opponent behind with 36% of the vote (89,600).
38th Assembly District
The 38th Assembly District race saw its fair share of changes over the past year as GOP candidate Suzette Martinez Valladares dropped out of the 25th Congressional District race and sought to challenge Assemblywoman Christy Smith, D-Santa Clarita.
Smith would reveal one month later that she would no longer run for re-election as she would enter the 25th Congressional District race following the sudden resignation of former Democratic Rep. Katie Hill.
The self-described “veteran of Republican politics” and Newhall resident led the polls in March with 32% of the vote (39,400) against five Democrat opponents and the only other Republican challenger Lucie Lapointe Volotzky, who received 18% (21,900) of the vote.
Tuesday mirrored those results, with Valladares earning 108,000 (76.2%) of the votes in early returns. Her opponent Volotzky earned 33,756 (23.8%) votes as of 10 p.m. Tuesday, with 97.6% of precincts reporting.
36th Assembly District
In the race for the 36th Assembly District, incumbent Tom Lackey, R-Palmdale, was leading his opponent Steve Fox with 52,021 (46.2%) of the votes. Fox had 60,573 (53.8%) of the votes as of 10 p.m. Tuesday, with 83.7% of precincts reporting.
Against a Democrat-majority pool of candidates during the primary elections in March, Lackey topped the voting charts with 53% of the vote (45,200) and Fox followed with 17% of the vote (14,700).