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Races for state Senate line up

Politics: As incumbents for both SCV districts leave office, candidates prepare for election

Posted: March 2, 2012 1:55 a.m.
Updated: March 2, 2012 1:55 a.m.
 

Tough fights are brewing in the two state Senate districts that encompass the Santa Clarita Valley after both Republicans currently serving those districts have announced they are not seeking re-election.

Partly due to redistricting that took effect last month, new faces are emerging.

Assemblyman Steve Knight, R-Palmdale, is running for the Senate seat in 21st District, the seat currently held by Sharon Runner, R-Lancaster.

Runner announced last month she will not seek re-election.

Knight said Thursday he plans, if elected, to preserve and enhance the policies championed by Runner.

“If she would have run in this election I would have supported her,” he said. “We’re going to run things the way she ran them.

“We believe, for instance, that government is not the answer to everything.”

Running against Knight is Democrat Star Moffatt, a paralegal and women’s rights advocate who lives in Palmdale.

Moffatt spent years fighting for alternative sentencing for women instead of prison.

She is the former executive director of a nonprofit program that served the handicapped and homeless.

District 21, formerly numbered District 17, takes in parts of Santa Clarita and Acton, Palmdale, Victorville and Apple Valley.

In District 27, formerly numbered District 19, Sen. Tony Strickland, R-Thousand Oaks, is seeking a congressional seat.

Sen. Fran Pavley, D-Santa Monica, has announced her candidacy for the district, which takes in Malibu, Thousand Oaks, Moorpark, Simi Valley and Stevenson Ranch.

Pavley had already amassed more than $594,000 in campaign contributions by the end of 2011.

She’s expected to be challenged by former Assembly speaker and fellow Democrat Bob Hertzberg, who said publicly last month that he was thinking of running for the 27th Senate District seat.

Hertzberg, a Los Angeles lawyer, served as assemblyman in the 40th Assembly District from 1996 to 2002.

The political split in each district is similar.

According to statistics tabulated by the California Secretary of State, District 27 is 40.4 percent Democrat and 34.6 percent Republican.

In District 21, the split is even tighter, at 36.23 Democrat versus 39.62 percent Republican.

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