Democrats hold the cards in region

Incumbents and Democrats sailed to victory in and around Pasadena on Tuesday, with the region overwhelmingly supporting President Obama as well as Democratic Party candidates for federal and state office.

More than 70% of voters in both Pasadena and South Pasadena backed President Obama, Rep. Judy Chu (D-Monterey Park) and state Sen. Carol Liu (D-La Cañada Flintridge) over their Republican rivals, according to preliminary tallies from the Los Angeles County registrar-recorder. Complete results are not expected for weeks, according to the office.

Pasadena City Councilman Chris Holden, who won the 41st Assembly District seat over Claremont Republican Donna Lowe, 58% to 42%, got 69% of the vote in Pasadena and 65% in South Pasadena.

Voters in San Marino, meanwhile, supported Republicans in every race on the ballot. GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney won 60% of the San Marino vote.

Former San Marino Mayor Matthew Lin, who garnered just 43% of the vote overall in his bid to top Democrat Ed Chau in the 49th Assembly District, won 70% of the vote in San Marino.

Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Burbank) easily won a seventh term in Congress, taking 63% of the vote in the small sliver of Pasadena he still represents and 76% overall in his run against Republican Phil Jennerjahn.

Redistricting and term limits are forcing changes in representation that will take effect next year.

Schiff's 28th Congressional District will include La Cañada Flintridge, Glendale, Burbank and much of Hollywood, but he will no longer represent most of Pasadena or other San Gabriel Valley cities.

Chu's new 27th Congressional District will include Pasadena as well as cities to the east she represented during her first two terms in office.

Overall, Chu took 63% of the vote, while GOP rival Jack Orswell took 37%.

Liu, who topped Republican Gil Gonzales 60% to 40%, still has the tri-cities, but newly represents foothills communities all the way to Upland and no longer represents a portion of the San Fernando Valley.

Pasadena today is represented in the state Assembly by Anthony Portantino (D- La Canada Flintridge). But Portantino will be forced out by term limits at the end of the year, and Holden will then represent Pasadena and points east while La Cañada will be part of Mike Gatto's 41st Assembly District.

At a Democratic victory party Tuesday night in Pasadena, Liu said her win gives her “the confidence to continue with my agenda, which has not changed since I was first elected.”

Her priorities, she said, are “education, environment and infrastructure.”

Chu said she is ready to embrace Pasadena.

“I've been immersing myself into Pasadena during this campaign,” Chu said late Tuesday night at a boisterous Democratic party at the Boteco Bar & Lounge in downtown Alhambra. She praised the city's network of agencies and advocacy groups, saying, “Pasadena is truly a place of community activism.”

Lin was gracious in defeat after his sometimes nasty battle with Chau for the Assembly district that includes San Marino and other San Gabriel Valley communities.

“Life does not end here,” Lin told supporters in San Gabriel after midnight on Tuesday.

“What we learned in this year we'll use to give back to this community. We'll make this community much better than it is today.”

Repoter Joe Piasecki contributed to this story.

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