2016-04-28 / Editorials

Editorial

State Senate race kicks local election season into high gear

When Fran Pavley campaigned for her 27th Senate District seat in 2012, little did anyone expect that her Republican challenger, Todd Zink, would win more than 46 percent of the final vote in the presumptively Democratic district. In the primary election, Zink beat Pavley 51 to 49 percent. (Admittedly, Zink ran unopposed as a Republican while Pavley’s vote was split among Democrats.)

The 27th was redrawn in 2011 to include Republican footholds in Ventura County and Santa Clarita Valley, and Zink’s strong showing served as a wake-up call to eager Democrats ready to paint the district blue.

Today, about 40 percent of the registered voters in the district that runs from Stevenson Ranch to Malibu and Encino to Newbury Park remain Democratic, and fewer than 30 percent are Republican, but the state GOP still sees the 27th as a partisan battleground in the 2016 campaign. With Democrats in solid control in Sacramento, a race would be welcomed.

Pavley terms out in November, and five Democrats and one Republican will begin the process in the June 7 primary election to replace her. The top two vote-getters will advance to the fall general election.

The Republicans’ Todd Zink this time around is Steve Fazio, a big favorite of business and law enforcement. The Democratic challengers are Shawn Bayliss, Janice Kamenir-Reznik, George Christopher Thomas, David Pollock and Henry Stern.

The Acorn began a series of candidate profiles last week with a look at Pollock, the only candidate from Ventura County. This week we turn our attention to Reznik, a real estate lawyer and women’s rights activist. The candidate field is deep and it is strong. We invite you to follow our coverage.

The best voter is an informed voter and, to that end, Acorn readers have an opportunity to attend a series of debates and forums to learn more about the candidates in this important state Senate race.

At 7 p.m. Tues., May 3, all candidates are invited to the Thousand Oaks City Council chambers, 2100 E. Thousand Oaks Blvd., for a forum hosted by the Ventura County League of Women Voters.

Starting at 11:30 a.m. Thurs., May 12, Pierce College and UCLA will host a debate in the Great Hall at the Woodland Hills campus. And at 11:45 a.m. Tues., May 17, a forum by the Encino Chamber of Commerce will take place at 16821 Burbank Blvd. in Encino.

The last day to register to vote in the California primary is May 23. The last day to request a vote-by-mail ballot is May 31.

See you at the polls.

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