Assemblyman-elect Todd Gloria: State will weather Trump

San Diego’s Todd Gloria swept into the state Assembly on Tuesday and vowed that California would not be swayed by a Donald Trump presidency.

“The world will continue to look to California for progressive leadership,” Gloria said, “and continue on the path we’re on — regardless of what happens in D.C.”

The councilman, whose 37-point margin of victory over Republican Kevin Melton was the second-largest in San Diego County, laughed when asked about California seceding from the union — as suggested by a “Calexit” website and a young woman screaming out her car window on a downtown street.

San Diego City Councilman Todd Gloria won his first race for the state Assembly. Photo by Chris Stone

“I don’t think that’s going to happen,” Gloria said at Golden Hall, where he gave broadcast interviews and embraced friends and political colleagues.

Instead, the 78th District Assembly member-elect said the state — boasting a Democratic-dominated Legislature — would continue its leftward course of recent years.

“While the rest of the country has been indifferent to issues like climate change and minimum wage increases, California has led,” he said before Trump locked down his electoral victory. “I’m proud of our state. … And if that’s in contrast with what’s going on in D.C., so much the better.”

Mark West, who won election to the Imperial Beach City Council, congratulates Todd Gloria (right) on his Assembly victory. Photo by Ken Stone

In Sacramento, he’ll be joining star Democrat Lorena Gonzalez, who defeated her 80th District GOP challenger — Lincoln Pickard — by 51 percentage points in that Mexico-bordering district that also includes Chula Vista, National City and the San Diego neighborhoods of City Heights and Barrio Logan.

Pickard used the slogan “Make California Great Again!” but couldn’t make a dent in his latest run in the heavily Democratic district. (He lost to David Alvarez 76 percent to 24 percent in the June 2014 City Council primary.)

Besides Gloria, the San Diego County delegation will feature Assembly newcomer Randy Voepel, the Republican mayor of Santee, taking the 71st District seat occupied by termed-out Brian Jones. Voepel’s rival, local jeweler Leo Hamel, dropped out early in the race.

Easily winning re-election were Republicans Marie Waldron in the 75th District, Rocky Chavez in the 76th District and Brian Maienschein in the 77th District. Democrat Shirley Weber was re-elected in the 79th District.