Torres Defeats Leon To Succeed Negrete-McLeod In 32nd Senate District

(May 15) Norma Torres comfortably outdistanced Paul Leon in Tuesday’s run-off race to succeed Gloria Negrete-McLeod as California’s 32nd District State Senator.
Torres, a Democrat and incumbent assemblywoman in the  in 52nd Assembly District and a former mayor of Pomona, captured 19,666 votes, or 59.39 percent, in both Los Angeles and San Bernardino counties to Leon’s 13,445, or 40.6 percent.
Leon, a Republican and current mayor of Ontario, fared better in San Bernardino County than he did in Los Angeles County. In his county of residence, he took home 11,513 votes, or 41.21 percent, compared to Torres, who finished in San Bernardino County with 16,424 votes, or 58.79 percent. In Los Angeles County where she lives, Torres pulled down 3,242 votes, or 62.66 percent to Leon’s 1,932 votes or 37.34 percent.
The voter turnout in the special race that was necessitated by McLeod’s successful election to Congress in November was abysmal. In Los Angeles County, where there are 58,134 registered voters within the 32nd District, 5,174 voters participated, both at the polls and by mail ballot. In San Bernardino County, where 284,217 voters are registered in the district, 44,361 participated by voting at their precinct or by mail. Voter turnout district-wide was 14.43 percent.
Despite his loss, by one measure Leon had a very strong showing. Registration in the 32nd leans heavily in favor of the Democratic Party, with 48 percent of registered voters identified as Democrats and 28 percent registered as Republicans.
The district includes all of Pomona,  Bloomington, Fontana, Montclair, Muscoy, Ontario, and Rialto, and parts of Colton and San Bernardino.
To qualify for the runoff, Torres and Leon outpolled four other hopefuls – San Bernardino County Treasurer Larry Walker, Ontario City Councilman Paul Vincent Avila, Pomona Planning Commissioner Ken Coble and Rialto Unified School District Board Member Joanne Gilbert – in March.
Negrete-McLeod’s victory in the November Congressional election, which created the vacancy in the 32nd Senatorial District and brought about the need for the March election and this week’s election, will continue to resound politically and entail election-holding costs as an election, or perhaps two if there is going to be a runoff, must be held to fill the vacancy Torres’ resignation from the Assembly will now require.

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