Assemblywoman Mariko Yamada. Enterprise file photo

Assemblywoman Mariko Yamada. Enterprise file photo

Local News

Yamada handily defeats Munn for her final term

By From page A6 | November 07, 2012

In her bid for a third and final term, Assemblywoman Mariko Yamada once more had her candidacy met with resounding support from Yolo County and the surrounding region to best a Republican challenger.

The Democratic incumbent from Davis came out more than 20 percentage points ahead of her opponent, John Munn, also a Davis resident. While the district lines have changed since Yamada’s 2010 win over Republican Michelle Connor, the result has been almost identical.

Yamada captured 62.1 percent of the vote compared to 37.9 percent of Munn. Yolo County was even more one-sided, with 66.9 percent of votes going to Yamada and 33.1 percent going to Munn.

“I’m very heartened by the early results, which have been very similar to our June primaries,” Yamada, 61, said Tuesday night. “The district is 68 percent new for me, as an incumbent from the prior district. I’m very grateful that their early returns are reflecting an opportunity for me to return to service.”

Yamada will serve her final term in California’s new 4th Assembly District, which covers Colusa, Napa, Lake, Solano (Dixon), Sonoma (Rohnert Park) and Yolo counties. She represented the more compact 8th District before the boundaries were redrawn by a citizens commission.

Addressing water supply and sustaining agriculture in these areas is going to be important, Yamada said, naming just two specific issues of the many she will have to confront.

“I’ll also continue my focus on veterans and persons with disabilities, which has been a strong policy interest of mine,” she said. “The effects on our higher education system need to be examined too. … A review of the reform measures that need to be put in place — to ensure UC Davis can be the leader not only in our state, but in our country.”

Yamada said she had a received a call Tuesday from Munn once a majority of the counties’ votes were in, offering his best wishes. She added a personal appreciation for his candidacy, and hoped for a line of communication to remain open between the two.

‘I wish to congratulate her on her win,” Munn said just before midnight Tuesday. “I wish her luck in the next two years.”

Yamada’s campaign raised almost twice the funding of Munn’s, according campaign finance data from the secretary of state’s website.

Also working to the Republican challenger’s disadvantage was the 47 to 27 percent Democrat-to-Republican registration difference in the newly drawn district. The remaining 21 percent of registered voters in the district decline to state a party affiliation.

Despite the district’s tendency to lean left, Munn did not express regret for choosing to run. He did, however, voice his gratitude to those who supported him throughout his campaign.

Munn based his candidacy on the promise of restoring a struggling state economy, which Yamada said she recognizes as a priority on her return to work.

“I think that our campaign was cordial, but we had two different visions for California and our nation,” Yamada said. “We can always listen to one another, learn from one another, and try to move our state in the direction that will make some reinvestments in both education and the economy.”

* In other news, incumbent Assemblyman Roger Dickinson, D-Sacramento, easily bested Republican Jonathan Zachariou, with 69.4 percent of the vote. Zachariou is the senior pastor at Davis Christian Assembly.

— Reach Brett Johnson at [email protected]

Brett Johnson

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