Assemblywoman Toni Atkins‘s big vote margin on Tuesday sets her up to serve next the state Senate.
With 100 percent of precincts reporting, Atkins, a Democrat, was receiving 66 percent of the vote in the 39th Senate District. Republican John Renison trailed her with just 18 percent of the vote. They’ll head to a runoff in November.
Atkins said she plans to focus on making housing more affordable if she joins the state Senate.
“California has become one of the least affordable states,” Atkins said. “Housing isn’t affordable here no matter what your income is.”
She also plans to work toward making health care accessible, such as insuring there are more medical interpreters.
“There are 200 languages and dialects spoken in California, but people aren’t getting competent care,” Atkins said.
Other issues of concern for Atkins include higher education and climate change.
“I love all of the work I’m doing,” Atkins said. “I love all the policy work and I have a really good foundation.”
Atkins has served in the state Assembly since 2010 and served as speaker of the Assembly for two years. Before joining the state Legislature, Atkins served on the San Diego City Council for eight years.
If elected, Atkins would replace Sen. Marty Block, who is stepping down from the seat after one term.
In other state races, Councilman Todd Gloria, who is termed out from his local seat, led the race for the 78th Assembly District with 72 percent of the votes.
Gloria said he plans to focus on housing, transportation and the budget if elected to the seat.
“These are the issues I’m known for in San Diego,” Gloria said. “I’m passionate about these issues and they are issues that still need a champion.”
Randy Voepel, who has served as mayor of Santee for 15 years, led in the 71st Assembly District race with 61 percent of the votes. If elected, Voepel would replace Assemblyman Brian Jones, also a former Santee leader, who is termed out.
Other state Assembly leaders — Marie Waldron of the 75th District, Brian Maienschein of the 77th District, Shirley Weber of the 79th District and Lorena Gonzalez of the 80th District — also led their opponents by wide margins. Rocky Chavez of the 76th District ran unopposed.
The top two vote-getters in each race will face off in the November election.