A year after his crushing defeat in the special election, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger won a second term Tuesday by a landslide over Democrat Phil Angelides, and voters passed a vast bond package that launches California's biggest public construction boom in decades.
In the U.S. Senate race, Democrat Dianne Feinstein won reelection in a romp over Republican challenger Richard Mountjoy. Another Democrat, Oakland Mayor Jerry Brown, won the race for attorney general, a new milestone in the former governor's zigzag career path.
Lt. Gov. Cruz Bustamante, the Democrat who lost his bid for governor in the 2003 recall, suffered another defeat in his campaign for state insurance commissioner. The Republican winner was Silicon Valley businessman Steve Poizner. I
In the contest for state treasurer, Atty. Gen. Bill Lockyer, a Democrat, trounced Republican rival Claude Parrish. The Democrat running for state controller, John Chiang, widened his narrow lead early this morning over Republican Tony Strickland.
For The Record
Los Angeles Times Thursday November 09, 2006 Home Edition Main News Part A Page 2 National Desk 1 inches; 44 words Type of Material: Correction
State-by-state election results: In some editions of Wednesday's Section A, a chart labeled "The nation at a glance" said that heading into the election, 231 House seats were held by the GOP and two seats were open. The GOP held 229; four were open.
For The Record
Los Angeles Times Wednesday November 15, 2006 Home Edition Main News Part A Page 2 National Desk 1 inches; 46 words Type of Material: Correction
Susan Kennedy: An article in the Nov. 8 Section A on California election results reported that Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's chief of staff, Susan Kennedy, held the same job under Gov. Gray Davis. In the Davis administration, she was Cabinet secretary and, later, deputy chief of staff.
Two other races were neck-and-neck: the battle for lieutenant governor between Republican Tom McClintock and Democrat John Garamendi, and the contest for secretary of state between Republican incumbent Bruce McPherson and Democratic challenger Debra Bowen. Democrats in both of those contests gained a slight edge as the vote count proceeded beyond midnight.
For Schwarzenegger, the huge victory over Democratic challenger Angelides ran against a political tide that swamped other Republicans across the nation, costing the GOP control of the U.S. House of Representatives and threatening its hold on the Senate.
At his Beverly Hilton victory party in Beverly Hills, Schwarzenegger's wife, Maria Shriver, introduced him to hundreds of cheering supporters as a man "of the people, by the people and for the people."
With that, jets of air sprayed the ballroom with green, orange and white confetti, and Schwarzenegger ascended the stage.
Just after 10 p.m., he told the crowd that Angelides had conceded in a "very gracious and very kind phone call." Over the next four years, he vowed: "I will protect your values and I will protect your dreams.
"What a fantastic evening," he said. "You know I love doing sequels."
Earlier, in a private VIP room, Schwarzenegger greeted well-wishers, including such celebrities as actors Rob Lowe and Sylvester Stallone.
In Sacramento, several hundred Angelides supporters applauded Democratic congressional victories displayed on giant television screens as they awaited his concession speech. Angelides addressed them shortly after Schwarzenegger left the stage in Beverly Hills.
"I wish Gov. Schwarzenegger and his family all the best," Angelides said.
Of the 13 statewide ballot measures, Proposition 83, a measure to toughen penalties on sex offenders, passed by a landslide, as did Proposition 1A, a proposal to stop lawmakers from raiding a transportation fund.
Running well behind this morning was Proposition 85, a measure to require parental notification for minors seeking an abortion. Also lagging wasProposition 90, a plan to curb eminent domain.
Overall, returns late Tuesday night suggested California voters were rejecting tax hikes, but approving bond plans. Combined, the bonds call for the state to borrow nearly $43 billion. With interest, it would cost nearly $84 billion to repay over three decades.
Among the two most high-profile tax measures, voters turned down Proposition 87, a plan to impose an oil tax to raise money for alternative fuel, and also appeared to reject Proposition 86, a tobacco tax to raise money for healthcare.
Voters roundly defeated Proposition 88, a plan to increase property taxes for schools, and Proposition 89, a nurses' union measure to increase corporate taxes to finance political campaigns.
Holding a comfortable lead this morning was Proposition 84, a $5.4-billion parks and water bond.
All four of the bond measures in the package pushed by Schwarzenegger and Democratic lawmakers were heading toward approval: .Propositions 1B, a $19.9-billion highway and mass transit plan; 1C, a $2.8-billion housing bond; 1D, a $10.4-billion plan to build and repair schools; and 1E, a $4.1-billion levee upgrade.
State Senate President pro Tem Don Perata (D-Oakland), who spearheaded the bond campaign, said the construction program would "make a real difference to the lives of millions of Californians, who will find it easier to get to work, will send their children to better schools, will live in safer, more affordable housing and will live with less fear of catastrophic floods."
The state expected 4.9 million Californians to vote at polling stations Tuesday, and another 3.8 million to cast absentee ballots, but the final turnout number -- likely to be just over half of registered voters -- is weeks away.
Overall, minimal disruptions occurred, most of them snafus such as paper jams and polling places that opened late, said Ashley Snee Giovannettone, a spokeswoman for the secretary of state's office.