The Central Coast now has a bipartisan legislative team to represent it in Sacramento, so to speak.
Democrat Bill Monning of Carmel cruised to a win to represent the sprawling 17th District in the Senate, while Republican Katcho Achadjian of San Luis Obispo was outdistancing his opponent to get a second term in the Assembly in the 35th District.
Both incumbents, Achadjian and Monning sailed into victory with strong voter registration advantages in their prospective districts.
Achadjian’s victory over long-shot Democrat Gerry Manata of Paso Robles was not a surprise. Manata had little money, and the district has 12,000 more Republicans than Democrats.
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Since January, Achadjian had spent about $130,000 and raised $170,778, far less than the $455,680 he spent in his first run for the Assembly two years ago.
Monning is finishing his second term in the Assembly. Opposing him was Republican Larry Beaman, who is concluding his first term on a small school district board near Santa Cruz.
Thanks to redistricting, the newly drawn boundaries of the 17th District strongly favor the Democrats. And for the first time since 2003, San Luis Obispo County will be represented by a senator living well outside the area.
Democrats hold a nearly 16-point lead in registration over Republicans in the district, a coastal entity that runs from San Jose south to Nipomo and includes the cities of Santa Cruz, Monterey and Gilroy, along with all of San Luis Obispo County.