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Rita Topalian Dominates Ian Calderon in Primary Vote for 57th Assembly Seat

Rita Topalian, Candidate for 57th Assembly District. Daniel E. Beckham Photo

Rita Topalian, Candidate for 57th Assembly District. Daniel E. Beckham Photo

By Brian Hews

Voters sent a message to first term Democratic State Assemblyman Ian Calderon that he is in possible danger of losing his bid for reelection this coming November.

Upstart Republican attorney Rita Topalian topped the 28-year old Calderon in the two-way primary race in the 57th State Assembly District.   The area includes parts of Southeast Los Angeles County.

The district has been considered a friendly safe turf for Calderon, until Tuesday.

The Calderon family was rocked this past number of months when members of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the United States Attorney’s Office filed dozens of felony charges against Ian Calderon’s two uncles including State Senator Ronald and former Assemblyman Thomas Calderon.

Topalian garnered 51.49% of the vote to 48.51% for Ian Calderon.  The two will once again face off in the November 4 California General Election.

An excited Topalian, told Hews Media Group-Community Newspaper in a phone interview after midnight that she credited her impressive primary win over Calderon to “smart, intelligent voters.”

“I worked hard.  Our electorate is a lot smarter than we think they are.  The voters made an informed decision,” said Topalian.

Topalian was with nearly 100 friends and supporters at a home in Hacienda Heights to celebrate.

“This momentum will continue to November.  Look, my supporters are determined,” she said.

Topalian said that she had not spoken to Ian Calderon on Tuesday night, but remarked, “I am sure they are beyond stunned by what took place with the balloting.”

She also pointed to the solid defeat of Charles Calderon, who is the father of Ian Calderon who was seeking a judgeship in Los Angeles County but was soundly beaten by criminal prosecutor Carol Rose.

“His dad Chuck did very poorly. I think the voters have finally seen through the Calderon’s,” Topalian said.

Topalian said that she would be taking “two to three days off” before planning a trip to Sacramento on June 10.

“We ran a total grass roots campaign.  This is what our country is truly about.  People can make change, and we proved it,” she said.

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