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Jimmy Gomez Wins 51st Assembly District Over Lopez

Votes are still being counted in the contentious race for the 51st Assembly District between candidates Jimmy Gomez and Luis Lopez.

Update:


With 100-percent of precincts reporting, the Los Angeles County Registrar's office reports that Jimmy Gomez has won the race for the 51st Assembly District. The final tally sees Gomez winning 60.2 percent of the vote compared to challenger Luis Lopez's 39.8-percent.

In total, Gomez earned 49,022 votes compared to 32, 398 for Lopez.

Prior to the final election results coming in on Tuesday evening, Gomez told Patch that his campaign proved that he was a true grassroots candidate, and not the big-money backed insider that the Lopez campaign had attempted to characterize him as.

"I think the endorsements I earned throughout this campaign, including the Northeast LA Democratic Club, proved that I was a truly grassroots candidate," he said.

Speaking at his own campaign party on Tuesday evening, Lopez said he had "no regrets" about how he ran his campaign, including the distribution of a mailer that linked Gomez to a lobbyist with past NRA-ties. 

"Everything I said about him was backed up with facts," Lopez said. "Everything they said about me, was false. They tried to say I was a lobbyist, that's completely untrue. I work in corporate communications for a non-profit health center."

Among the supporters who celebrated Gomez's victory on Tuesday night was George Garcia, an East L.A. student who said he could relate to the candidate.

Garcia said he saw Gomez's journey from community college, to UCLA to Harvard as an inspiration.

"He knows about the struggle," Garcia said.

Update:

With the Los Angeles County Registrar reporting a 59.6-percent to 40.4-percent lead for Jimmy Gomez as of 12:48 p.m. Wednesday morning, the leading candidate seemed confidant that he had won the hard fought battle for the 51st Assembly District.

"We have had a long, hard fought journey to where we are today," Gomez wrote in a message to his Facebook friends. "To have earned the overwhelming support of the community is humbling. Together, we will fight for the 51st AD."

Earlier in the evening, Gomez was flanked by political allies at a campaign party hosted at his 6100 N. Figueroa Street headquarters. He posed for pictures with Councilmen José Huizar and Ed Reyes, while campaign staff repeatedly refreshed the Registrar's website in hopes of receiving updated election results.

Across the district, in Silver Lake, candidate Luis Lopez remained confidant, even as results suggested a victory for Gomez.

He watched streaming footage of re-elected President Barack Obama's acceptance speech with supporters projected onto the wall of Naya Restaurant and thanked them for their long hours of campaigning.

"It's going to be a long night," Lopez said, as he encouraged them to keep their spirits high as they waited for election results to pour in.

Previously:

The close and increasingly contentious race for the 51st Assembly District between candidates Jimmy Gomez and Luis Lopez will be decided on Tuesday.

Voters will have to choose between two relative newcomers to represent the newly created 51st Assembly District, which comprises Highland Park, Mount Washington, Eagle Rock, Echo Park, Loz Feliz, Silvelake and several other Los Angeles communities.

Gomez and Lopez, both Democrats, earned the top two spots in June's primary election, forcing the Nov.6 runoff vote.

Lopez is currently director of corporate communications for AltaMed Health Services, a non-profit, federally qualified community health care provider with locations in Los Angeles and Orange County.

Gomez is currently the Political Director for the United Nurses Associations of California

In the run-up to the election, Gomez's campaign has touted his 13-percentage point win in the June primary as evidence that he was the preferred candidate among Angelenos.

Lopez has campaigned as the grassroots candidate, noting that the bulk of the $224,000 donated to his campaign has come from individual donors, as opposed to Gomez's largely union-funded $545,500 war chest.

In the final month of the campaign, Lopez has attempted to convince voters that Gomez could potentially be beholden to the National Rifle Association. Campaign finance records show that Gomez accepted a donation from Amador Dean Aguillen, a lobbyist with Ogilvy Government Relations, which has also represented the NRA. 

Gomez's campaign has attempted to dismiss the NRA issue by characterizing it as a last ditch effort by Lopez to turn the race by paining their candidate in a negative light.

Click here to see the endorsements earned by Jimmy Gomez and here to see the endorsements earned by Luis Lopez.

Brock S. Evans November 06, 2012 at 02:13 PM
thanks for your coverage; it can be so frustrating to wait for results from the "big" media sourceson these so-called down ballot races that are so important to communities like ours and which get so little coverage otherwise.
OmarA. G November 07, 2012 at 10:17 PM
Ahhhh, I see the patch trolls have checked out for the early part of the day, nice!
Tom Mertz November 07, 2012 at 11:00 PM
Congratulations to Jimmy Gomez are in order on his win, and to Luis Lopez for the incredible showing against such a well-funded opponent. Luis' support showed there is a hunger for a viable people's alternative to the business-as-usual establishment machine. I hope he continues to build on the coalition he put together and works toward another run at public office. His experience and passion will be a valuable asset wherever he serves. Assemblymember Gomez' campaign was anything but "grassroots", but hopefully Luis' strong showing will let him and the local Democratic Party know that our district takes its representation quite seriously and expects it to be about our neighborhoods, not Sacramento's. I wish Mr. Gomez the best and believe he will give his all for us. I look forward to updates on his work and think this site would a perfect venue for them. As Brock said, the Patch deserves great thanks for being really the only game in town for regular info on this race.
Brock S. Evans November 07, 2012 at 11:11 PM
And i see that Gomez and his supporters are consistent in their continuous disdain and disrespect for the community he has never served.

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