Tom Bradley, who a year ago won every area of the San Fernando Valley in his successful mayoral race, fell far short of repeating the feat in Tuesday's gubernatorial election.
The Valley was the only part of Los Angeles that Bradley failed to carry in his losing campaign against Gov. George Deukmejian, according to an area breakdown of Tuesday's election results.
Bradley, who carried the city as a whole, lost in the Valley by about the same large margin in which he lost statewide. The Valley vote was Deukmejian 189,792, or 59%, to Bradley 132,168, or 41%. Statewide, Deukmejian beat Bradley 61% to 37%.
In other races, the Valley followed statewide trends in supporting Democratic U.S. Sen. Alan Cranston over Republican challenger Ed Zschau, and Lt. Gov. Leo McCarthy over his opponent Mike Curb. Along with voters statewide, they also voted 66%-34% to turn Chief Justice Rose Elizabeth Bird out of office. And they came within a few percentage points of voting the same as voters across the state in approving the English-only and toxics measures and defeating the AIDS initiative.
For the Record
Los Angeles Times Friday November 7, 1986 Valley Edition Metro Part 2 Page 7 Column 1 Zones Desk 1 inches; 27 words Type of Material: Correction
A chart on Thursday incorrectly reported the Valley-area Senate vote in Tuesday's election. Alan Cranston received 169,561 votes, 53% of the total, and Ed Zschau received 149,337, or 47%.
Valley voters also overwhelmingly approved Proposition U, a slow-growth initiative affecting Los Angeles that was strongly backed by Valley homeowners.
Bradley Loss in 4 Districts
Bradley lost in every one of the four City Council districts entirely within the Valley, including the heavily blue-collar central Valley represented until the council's recent redistricting by Councilman Ernani Bernardi. Bradley won that district in his unsuccessful 1982 gubernatorial race, although at that time he narrowly lost to Deukmejian in the Valley.
The vote Tuesday in Bernardi's old district was Deukmejian 22,897, Bradley 20,358. That was the closest Bradley came to beating Deukmejian in any of the Valley council districts.
Bradley also lost to Deukmejian by 14 votes in the small, heavily Latino city of San Fernando. San Fernando voters also approved the English-only measure by a vote of 1,765 to 1,005. The measure, which was overwhelmingly approved by voters statewide, declares English the official language of California in a largely symbolic reaction to the spread of Spanish and other foreign languages in the state.
Deukmejian's best showing in Los Angeles was in Councilman Hal Bernson's very conservative northwest Valley district. Deukmejian beat Bradley there, 45,025 votes to 21,902 votes. Bernson's district was the only one in the Valley where Zschau defeated Cranston, 36,631 votes to 29,380.
Valley Councilwoman Joy Picus, a Bradley supporter, said she was not surprised by Bradley's failure to win the Valley.
"He's never been overwhelmingly popular in the Valley," she said in an interview. Deukmejian beat Bradley in Picus' West Valley district, 36,230 votes to 22,972 votes.
Picus dismissed any suggestion that Bradley's defeat in the Valley is a sign of his unpopularity at home.
"It's more a question of the popularity of his opponent," she said. "I think Deukmejian's popularity has increased over four years, and the vote is reflective of that."
Citing Bradley's victory in the Valley in the mayor's race last year, Picus added, "Obviously, they like him as mayor. They don't want to see him as governor."
Even Bernson, a frequent Bradley critic who was the only council member to endorse Deukmejian, said the Valley vote should not be interpreted as a slap at Bradley.
'In Over His Head'
"It doesn't necessarily mean that Bradley wouldn't do well against a lesser candidate," Bernson said. "It just means he was in over his head against Deukmejian." Bernson was quick to add, however, that Bradley's lopsided victory in the Valley in the mayor's race last year should not be interpreted as a sign of strong support for the mayor in the Valley because, he said, it came against a weak opponent, Los Angeles Councilman John Ferraro.
Another who said he wasn't surprised by the results was Bernardi. Asked about Bradley's ability to carry all of Los Angeles except the Valley, Bernardi said, "The Valley is much more conservative than the rest of the city."
When it was pointed out to him that Cranston, a liberal Democrat, also carried the Valley in Tuesday's election, Bernardi said, "I don't think the people in my district or any area felt there was a need for a change" in either the governorship or the U. S. Senate.
VOTING COMPARISON How Valley areas voted in comparison to statewide vote. Deukmejian Statewide 61% (4,385,972) Valley areas 59% (189,792) Bradley Statewide 37% (2,721,674) Valley areas 41% (132,168) Cranston Statewide 49% (3,575,436) Valley areas 57 (176,960) Zschau Statewide 48% (3,458,814) Valley areas 53 (169, 561) Rose Bird CONFIRM Statewide 34% (2,369,063) Valley areas 34 (108,594) REJECT Statewide 66% (4,622,066) Valley areas 66% (207,786) Prop. 63--English Only YES Statewide 73% (5,016,556) Valley areas 74% (230,739) NO Statewide 27% (1,837,803) Valley areas 26% (80,383) Prop 65.--Toxics YES Statewide 63% (4,290,793) Valley areas 68% (210,987) NO Statewide 37% (2,568,944) Valley areas 32% (99,765) Prop. U--Growth Limits YES Statewide 69% (443,782) Valley areas 67% (172,603) NO Statewide 31% (196,443) Valley areas 33% (84,163)