Image by Flickr user League of Women Voters/ Creative Commons

Nationally Republicans dominated yesterday’s general elections, seizing the Senate from Democrats and capturing their biggest majorities in the House of Representatives in 60 years. It’s the first time Republicans have had control of both Houses of Congress since 2006.

While there were many surprises in traditional “blue” states, California remained firmly Democrat. Voters gave California Governor Jerry Brown a fourth and final term.
Two of his measures, Proposition 1, the water bond and Proposition 2, the rainy day fund passed easily.

The $7.5 billion water bond will pay for water recycling, and new storage systems. The rainy day fund is designed to help out the state during tough financial times.

Voters rejected by large margins Proposition 45 and 46. Proposition 45 would have given the state insurance commissioner power to approve or reject health insurance rate changes. The controversial Proposition 46, which sought drug testing for doctors also failed.

With the passing of Proposition 47, petty theft and drug possession are no longer a felony, but a misdemeanor in the state. In a win for Indian casinos, California voters also killed a measure that would have allowed casinos on non-reservation land.

Local leaders include a number of incumbents, with victories by 34th Congressional District Rep. Xavier Becerra, 51st District Assemblymember Jimmy Gomez and Senate President Pro Tempore Kevin De Leon, serving Los Angeles County’s 24th Senatorial district. Miguel Santiago will represent the 53rd Assembly District.

In a tight race for the state’s Superintendent of Schools, incumbent Tom Torlakson barely edged out school reformer Marshall Tuck, by 4 percent points.

Democrats Alex Padilla, and Betty Yee also triumphed in tight races for Secretary of State, and Controller.

Jim O’Donnell destroyed Paul Tanaka in the race for L.A. County Sheriff and retired state legislator Sheila Kuehl beat out Bobby Shriver for a seat on the L.A. County Board of Supervisors.

President Obama is expected to address his party’s losses in a press conference Wednesday afternoon.

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