By Terelle Jerricks, Managing Editor
Candidate for the 66th District Assembly, Al Muratsuchi, came out on top in the June 7 primary, but turnout, as in the 2014 race, will decide whether or not he takes the seat back from incumbent Assemblyman David Hadley in November.
Muratsuchi won the primary by 4 percentage points—4,540 votes—by carrying Hermosa Beach, Redondo Beach, Gardena and West Carson by healthy margins of 5 percent. He won Lomita and Torrance by 2 and 3 percentage points respectively. Muratsuchi lost Manhattan Beach by a slim margin. He lost the Palos Verdes Peninsula to Hadley by wide margins.
With the exception of Redondo Beach and Lomita, turnout in the areas Muratsuchi won was under 30 percent. Turnout in the places he lost by significant margins exceeded 35 percent.
Muratsuchi’s campaign strategy is to paint Hadley as too conservative and to tie him to Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump.
This past May, however, Hadley told the Los Angeles Times that he would not be voting for Trump.
In regards to access to firearms and ammunition, Hadley avoided voting on bills such as Senate Bill 707, a measure that prohibits concealed firearms on school grounds; Assembly Bill 1135, which prohibits firearms with bullet button; AB 1674, which limits the purchase of firearms; and AB 1695, which prohibits falsely reporting the loss or theft of a firearm.
The one bill he did vote on, SB 1446, a measure that prohibits the possession of high-capacity gun magazines, Hadley voted against it.
But the parts of his record that blunt accusations that he’s an extremist, or at least ideologically predictable had to do with the environment, homelessness and right to die measures.
On July 19, Muratsuchi’s campaign filed an official complaint with the state’s Fair Political Practices Commission, alleging that Hadley’s strategists illegally coordinated with an independent expenditure committee and spent hundreds of thousands of dollars to support him—a filing the commission confirmed it received July 20.
The general election race between Muratsuchi and Hadley is expected to be a close and grueling contest.