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    Senator Oropeza Thanks Supporters, Says She'll Back Richardson As Dem, Urges Her Supporters To Do Likewise, Hears Silence

    [We thank Straight Talk Executive Producer/Host Art Levine ( for providing us with a recording of the event audio on which's report below is independently based.]

    (June 27, 2007) -- Voters in a Congressional district with boundaries she helped draw as a state lawmaker in 2001 that perpetuated the reelection of the late Congresswoman Juanita Millender-McDonald (D., Carson-LB) handed State Senator Jenny Oropeza (D., southbay) a defeat on June 26, leaving her in second-place to Assemblywoman Laura Richardson (D., Carson-LB).

    With about half of the precincts reporting, Sen. Oropeza told supporters at LB's Coast Hotel that things "didn't look good"...and thanked the crowd on behalf of her family, stressing "how much we love and appreciate each and every one of you for your support and your friendship and the many many hours and dollars that you have spent and prayers and kharma and everything that you have sent our way over this last eight weeks."

    She added, "We will never ever forget one single one of you and the efforts that you have put forward on our behalf, on my half, on our community's behalf."

    Speaking in a calm, composed tone of voice, Sen. Oropeza said, "I feel that should Laura Richardson be elected tonight that she'll be a strong representative and that, as a Democrat, she does hold core values that I share with her, and if she's the Democratic nominee, I'm going to support her all the way, and I hope that all of you will too."

    The Senator's words landed like a thud...producing an awkward silence with no applause until Senator Oropeza changed the subject, thanking her staff (which brought some applause).

    After introducing her familymembers (mother, husband, Goddaughter, cousin), Sen. Oropeza said:

    "Let me tell you" we are a very, very happy family tonight. We are a very proud family, and we are very proud of all of you. We are very, very grateful to all of you...Whatever the outcome is, we will never forget your generosity, your support. And whatever the outcome, you know that you have me as a public servant."
    Sen. Oropeza with mother, Sharon, husband Tom Mullins and sister Lynne Oropeza. Photo source: Signal Tribune

    At the end of the night, Assemblywoman Richardson led all Dems (and all contenders) with 11,027 votes (37.76%) to Senator Oropeza's 9,144 (31.31%). Valerie McDonald, daughter of the late Congresswoman, finished third with 2,743 votes (9.39%). Assemblywoman Richardson led from the first tally of absentee ballots...and extended her lead throughout the evening.

    An August 21 runoff will now pit Assemblywoman Richardson against Republican LBPD Sgt/Iraq war veteran John Kanaley (2,230 votes/7.64%), Green Party candidate Daniel Brezenoff (352 votes/1.21%), and Libertarian Herb Peters (315 votes/1.08%). They are the sole survivors, the top vote-getters from each of their respective parties out of a field of 17 ballot candidates (which included 11 Dems and 4 Repubs).

    The 37th Congressional district, drawn by Democrat state lawmakers in 2001, is roughly [very roughly] 60% Democrat, 20% Republican and 20% "decline to state."

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