As the crowd continued to grow at his election night party at Pasadena’s Armenian Cultural Foundation, Anthony Portantino made the rounds, embracing supporters and posing for photos as the early results of his state Senate race were projected onto a screen.
An early lead turned into a decisive victory for the La Cañada Flintridge resident, who earned 57.5% of the vote in his race against Michael Antonovich.
“We’ve worked hard and people have responded,” said Portantino, a Democrat. “I’m so pleased that the hundreds of volunteers who worked hard, the tens of thousands of phone calls we made and all the effort that people put in [paid off.] It makes you feel warm.”
Portantino’s early lead stood up as he defeated Antonovich, the Republican L.A. County Supervisor, for the District 25 seat. Portantino won 57.5% of the votes (148,741) to his opponent’s 42.5% (110,110). Portantino will replace Carol Liu, another LCF resident, who is terming out.
Portantino kicked off his campaign for the seat back in 2013, and has worked tirelessly since to persuade voters to elect him to represent a district spanning from Tujunga to Upland and the Angeles National Forest and its adjacent cities.
He previously served as LCF mayor and, for six years, as a state Assemblyman for the 44th district. Among his regional efforts, Portantino has long been an active opponent of the 710 Freeway and as a member of the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy Advisory Committee.
“There are politicians who just show up, and that’s not him,” said LCF resident Mary McMullin, who attended Tuesday’s party. “Other politicians will go for the photo op but don’t do the hard work, but things like the Tournament of Roses committee, being at different hearings, he’s working to bring 12 Oaks back, being at everything, he digs in and does.”
“Someone was just teasing, ‘Are there clones of him?’” said Sofia Portantino, Portantino’s eldest daughter. “But I can confirm, there are no clones. He just drives all over the place, he’s great at talking to people and he remembers everybody’s names, and that’s why he’s so good at what he does.”