LANCASTER – The California Secretary of State has updated its website with the final vote counts, and Steve Fox has edged pass Ron Smith to claim the 36th Assembly District seat.
The final tally puts Fox at 66,005 votes (50.1%) to Smith’s 65,860 votes (49.9%), according to the California Secretary of State.
Smith told the Sacramento Bee on Sunday that he was seeking a recount because he believed a political group had learned how to “manipulate the election by playing with provisionals,” according to the Sacramento Bee report.
“No one, including myself or any consultant, could have conceived that I was over 3 percentage points ahead after the election…and now the provisionals came in… that it would overturn the (results). Mathematically, statistically that just doesn’t happen,” Smith told the Sacramento Bee.
UPDATED: 12/2 @ 10 pm: A press release from Steve Fox announcing his win:
Lancaster – Candidate for the 36th Assembly District, Steve Fox, announced Sunday he was notified that he won his bid for the assembly seat by a margin of 145 votes.
Fox said he received a telephone call from Assembly Speaker John A. Perez (D-Los Angeles) congratulating him on his victory.
Fox said he was “surprised” and “overwhelmed with gratitude to the voters” of his district.
An attorney and educator, Steve Fox ran for the seat in 2008 as a Republican and failed to gain sufficient voter support. Shortly after that election, Fox recognized that his beliefs regarding education, health care, worker equality, and economic protection for the middle class and poor were contrary to the platforms espoused by the Republican Party at the time.
He wrote and published an editorial explaining his decision to become a Democrat. The party embraced Fox and in 2012, he was named Democrat of the Year by the Los Angeles Democratic Party.
Fox said that the fact that his candidacy always focused on the economy likely resonated with voters.
“In the primary, I was the only candidate that presented a plan to fix our state’s economic problems. I continued to talk about my plan because I truly believe that jobs, education and personal success are the most important things that we could have talked about this year.”
Fox said he plans to draft legislation that will move his economic plan for success forward. “These were never empty promises,” Fox said. “The voters knew where I stood and they sent me here to help them. I know that some people may not have supported me, but I value every person in the 36th Assembly District and will not let them down.”
UPDATED: 12/3 @ 2:30 pm: Steve Fox takes oath as Assemblymember
SACRAMENTO – Steve Fox (D-Palmdale) was sworn in as the Assemblymember for the 36th Assembly District. The district encompasses the Antelope Valley, and includes the cities of Lancaster and Palmdale as well as the Los Angeles County communities of Quartz Hill, Acton, Little Rock, Baker, Lake Los Angeles, and Wrightwood and the Kern County communities of Rosamond, Mojave, Reefer City, North Edwards, Boron, and California City.
“I am honored and humbled that the voters have placed their trust in me,” said Fox. “Every day in office is a day that I will spend working hard on behalf of everyone in the district.”
“Our Valley has always had its challenges, but we have confronted them with common sense, resiliency, and perseverance,” Fox said. “I know we can recover. We can get people back to work and back into their homes.”
Fox, a local office holder, attorney and teacher, plans to focus extensively on restoring funding for education at all levels and improving the state’s economy.
“As a public school teacher for 10 years and having served on the Antelope Valley College Board of Trustees, I am very aware of what happens when schools are cut,” continued Fox. “It doesn’t just affect individual students—it cripples local economies. Education is the way forward locally and statewide.”
Fox was sworn in at noon today (Dec. 3) on the Assembly floor.
Fox has also created his legislative website. View it here.