Bill Monning and Luis Alejo cruised to election wins and form the region’s legislative delegation for at least the next two years.
The Democrats were all heavily favored, and early election returns held not surprises. All three were won their races by comfortable margins, though Alejo’s race was the tightest of the three.
In the 17th Senate District, Democrat Monning led challenger Republican rival Larry Beaman, 62 percent to 37 percent, with 100 percent of the vote in. In the 30th Assembly District, Democrat Luis Alejo’s first re-election bid was successful, leading Republican challenger Rob Bernosky, 62 percent to 37 percent, with 100 percent of the vote in.
“For me, it signals that I have continued strong support and trust form the Pajaro Valley and the rest of my Assembly district,” Alejo said.
Representing a district where agriculture is king, Alejo managed to push through several farm- and water-related bills during his first term. He also was seen as a shoo-in as Bernosky, a Hollister Republican, mounted a spirited but uphill campaign. Alejo also defeated Bernosky in 2010.
Alejo was even more generous with his campaign cash, spreading it to numerous Democratic candidates, sending $10,000 to Gov. Jerry Brown’s Prop 30 campaign and a whopping $72,500 to the state Democratic Party. Lined up to head an Assembly environmental committee, Alejo seems poised to wield strong influence within Sacramento’s Democratic circles.
Running for a newly drawn state Senate district, Bill Monning also appears to be cruising to a win. A solid voice on the environment and authority on health care issues, Monning saw his path to the Senate open when incumbent Sam Blakeslee, R-San Luis Obispo, opted against reelection in a district that swung heavily to Democrats.
The district he represents is bigger than the state of Connecticut and includes 1 million residents. Monning said he is looking forward to tackling issues of education, the environment and public health, including the full implementation of the Affordable Care Act.
“That’s what starts now, moving our state forward,” Monning said.
Monning’s challenger was Republican moderate Beaman, a former Scotts Valley Unified School Board member.
STATE LEGISLATIVE RACES
30th ASSEMBLY DISTRICT
ROB BERNOSKY: 49, R-Hollister
LUIS ALEJO: 38, D-Watsonville
17th SENATE DISTRICT
BILL MONNING: 61, D-Carmel
LARRY BEAMAN: 38, R-Scotts Valley