By Tammye McDuff
Downey City Councilman Mario Guerra scored a huge political win on Tuesday after he topped a compact field of candidates in the Primary election for California’s 32nd Senate District with a little more than 44% of the total votes cast.
Coming in a second was former Assemblyman Tony Mendoza. Guerra and Mendoza are now heading to a campaign showdown in November.
A member of the Downey City Council since 2006, Guerra is a successful business executive, community leader and President of Independent Cities Association.
HMG-CN was present at the polling place Tuesday morning, when the entire Guerra family turned out to vote. Ann Guerra was very enthusiastic stating, “I think he is going to win. He has done so much for our community and I am very proud that he wants to share this. I think it is about time we have someone decent representing us in Sacramento. He is not afraid to speak up issues he believes in. No one will outwork Mario!” When asked what he was thinking as he cast his vote, Mario Guerra said, “I am excited for the future of California. We are about to make some changes that will bring character and leadership back to our State. “
From the 460 precincts reporting – Guerra, a Republican from Downey owns an insurance brokerage and received 21, 249 votes while Tony Mendoza, a Democrat from Artesia, who is a teacher, received 15,561 votes. Finishing behind them were Democrats former state Assemblywoman Sally Havice, of Cerritos, a Cerritos College professor; Irella Perez, school principal and member of the Whittier City School District Board of Education; and Carlos Arvizu, of Downey, a real estate broker.
“I’m very proud of our win tonight,” said Guerra. “Our communities are ready for a change in leadership in Sacramento. They are tired of the corruption and partisan fighting. They want to see public servants who are working for them, not themselves, special interests, or their political party. I want to be a representative of the people who live and work here and expect responsible leadership in Sacramento.”
Tony Mendoza stated he appreciated the support of all those who cast their ballots in the primary elections stating, “I am very excited about the voter turnout and the results. I believe it was a positive statement.” HMG asked what should voters expect from his campaign between now and November Mendoza stated, “We are going to move the district forward and win the support of even more of my neighbors in November.”
HMG contacted Dr. Irella Perez for her reactions to the primary elections. Dr. Perez stated that she was disappointed the voting did not turn out in her favor however stating she realizes it is a process. Perez also commented, “I am thrilled that I was able to encourage citizens to exercise their voting rights and I will continue to serve my community and move it forward through education. This gave me a great opportunity to discuss winning and losing with my children.”
Sally Havice and Carlos Arvizu were not available for comment.
Guerra’s candidacy offers the opportunity for Republicans to elect a Senate seat in 2014. He has been awarded non-partisan elected official of the year and his relationships across party lines is representative of his vision for this district. “We’re excited our message is resonating,” said Guerra. “People are tired of political bias. People are tired of a nonfunctional and corrupt government.”
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