Valladares holds 52-point lead in 38th Assembly race

State Assembly candidate Suzette Martinez Valladares speaks to supporters as the early returns come in at a GOP election night party held in Valencia on Tuesday, November 03, 2020. Dan Watson/The Signal

Although her victory remains unofficial, GOP candidate Suzette Martinez Valladares thanked her supporters for her near 52-point lead over challenger Lucie Lapointe Volotzky for the 38th Assembly District. 

Valladares, who had previously announced her run for California’s 25th Congressional District before swapping it for the state race in September 2019, kept a significant vote lead all throughout election night and into Wednesday afternoon, according to the California Secretary of State. 

She received 75.9% of the votes counted by Wednesday, or 116,063 votes, and Volotzky, who also ran as a Republican, garnered 24.1% (36,817). Two hours after polls closed, the gap in votes between the two contenders fell to a 14-point difference as Valladares had 32% of the vote at that time, and Volotzky had 18%.  In L.A. County, Valladares led with 78.50% of the vote and her challenger earned 21.50%. The 38th Assembly District also includes portions of Ventura County.

“We’re really excited with the returns,” Valladares said. “It just goes to show that Democrats, Republicans, no party preference voters in our community are really looking for balance and looking for balance in Sacramento and looking for a leader in our community that’s going to address the issues our community cares about: getting people back to work, addressing the high cost of living, (and) our education system, especially with our kids being out of school.” 

Volotzky did not return requests for comment. 

In California, results will be labeled certified Dec. 11, according to the state. Secretary of State Alex Padilla has asked residents to remain patient as the vote count “may take a little longer this year.” 

“On Election Night, we will have a good picture of most contests, but the outcomes of close contests may take days or weeks to settle. This is normal,” he said in a previous statement.

California is expected to issue its first unprocessed ballots report, “which is a compilation of estimates from county elections offices,” toward the end of the day Thursday, according to spokesman Sam Mahood. 

Wednesday’s update includes 195,971 vote-by-mail ballots processed since election night and those received on Sunday, Nov. 1. The total election results count is now 3.38 million, which is 59.24% of eligible county voters, according to county officials. An estimated 618,200 ballots, including 520,000 vote-by-mail ballots, have yet to be counted, according to county officials. 

36th Assembly District 

In the race for the 36th Assembly District, incumbent Tom Lackey, R-Palmdale, was leading Democratic challenger Steve Fox with 54.9% (71,980) of the vote as of Wednesday. Fox had 45.1% (59,177).

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). 

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