Richardson Wins Special, Will Assume Millender-McDonald Seat

Posted August 22, 2007 at 9:16am

The second of three special House elections taking place this summer came to an end Tuesday, with California Assemblywoman Laura Richardson (D) easily winning the seat of the late Rep. Juanita Millender-McDonald (D-Calif.).

Richardson took about 67 percent of the vote against three little-known opponents in the low-turnout election to fill the Long Beach-area seat.

According to The Los Angeles Times, Richardson, who spent two years as a staffer for Millender-McDonald, told supporters Tuesday night that she was “grateful to have had an opportunity to have worked with Congresswoman Millender-McDonald, and now I have a chance to follow in her footsteps.”

There has been no word yet on when Richardson will be sworn in or what committee assignments she will get.

Richardson’s ascension to Congress completes a meteoric rise that took her from the Long Beach City Council to Capitol Hill in less than a year. She won her Assembly seat in November. But Richardson has been politically active for years, working for former California Lt. Gov. Cruz Bustamante (D) in addition to her time on Millender-McDonald’s staff.

After winning a special primary in June over several Democrats, including state Sen. Jenny Oropeza and Millender-McDonald’s daughter, Valerie McDonald, Richardson’s victory Tuesday seemed like a mere formality.

A special House election in Georgia concluded last month with an upset victory by now-Rep. Paul Broun (R) in the race to replace the late Rep. Charlie Norwood (R).

Meanwhile, Democratic and Republican primaries will be held Sept. 4 in the race to replace ex-Rep. Marty Meehan (D-Mass.), who resigned on July 1. The winner of the Democratic primary will be the prohibitive favorite when the special general election is held in October, and college administrator Niki Tsongas, the widow of the late Sen. Paul Tsongas (D-Mass.), remains the Democratic frontrunner for now.

— Josh Kurtz