Portantino Gains Senate Runoff; Two Others Fall

Voters in California’s primary election Tuesday decided that Anthony Portantino’s campaign for the state Senate seat in the 25th district will extend into November. The La Cañada Flintridge resident will face off against Michael Antonovich, who will term out of his post as Los Angeles County 5th District supervisor this year.
Portantino, a former LCF mayor who served in the state Assembly from 2006 until 2012, finished with 27.76% of the vote (or 40,901 votes) compared with Antonovich’s 39.19% (57,749 votes).
Portantino announced his candidacy to replace Carol Liu — another LCF resident and former mayor here — in the Senate in 2013. He will face off with Antonovich, who was the only Republican in a crowded primary Tuesday, during the general election on Nov. 8.
“Our hope was to come in a strong second, and we did,” Portantino said Wednesday. “With the new top-two primary, I would say that we’re right where we hoped we would be. I’m
very happy with the results and very grateful to everybody who helped make it happen.”
Portantino finished well ahead of fellow Democrats Katherine Perez-Estolano (13.65%), Chris Chahinian (7.03%), Phlunte Riddle (6.82%) and Teddy Choi (5.54%).
Meanwhile, neither Andrew Blumenfeld nor Rajiv Dalal, the LCF residents running for state Assembly, earned enough votes to move on to November’s general election.
The race for the 43rd District was dominated by Laura Friedman and Ardy Kassakhian, who received 31.91% and 24.37% of the votes, respectively. Their race, which has grown contentious, will continue into the fall.
In his first foray into state politics, Blumenfeld finished with 12.51% of the vote. The former La Cañada Unified School District Governing Board president collected 9,554 votes in all. Dalal, who served as Los Angeles’ deputy film czar, finished with just 2.93% of the vote, or 2,238 in all.
Portantino said he expects to gain ground on Antonovich, who served as county supervisor for more than 35 years, in the fall.
“The primary is more of an internal battle. [The general election] will be more of an external battle,” Portantino said. “We’re in a very strong position for the fall. I’m an optimist, and I sense people want to see and feel optimism, and I think, more than anything else, that’s what I’m about and why I do this.”
He’s significantly less optimistic about the prospect of the proposed 710 Freeway tunnel than Antonovich, however.
The supervisor has said he would wait to review the completed environmental impact report before deciding where he stands on what could be a nearly 5-mile-long tunnel connecting the 710 and 210 freeways. Portantino has been a staunch opponent of the plan, which critics contend will, among other issues, present environmental health concerns to local residents.
“He’s been one of the strongest proponents of the 710 and, obviously, I’ve been one of the strongest opponents of the 710,” Portantino said. “And I think there’s a clear distinction there.”

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