By Sue Favor
LOS ANGELES — Assemblywoman Sydney Kamlager was overwhelmingly elected to the California State Senate March 2, defeating six other candidates seeking the 30th state Senate District seat in a special election.
Just as she did in 2018 when she was elected to the state Assembly, Kamlager will succeed Holly Mitchell, who resigned her Senate seat after being elected to the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors last November.
With more than 95% of the ballots counted, Kamlager received 67.67% of the vote to avoid a May runoff election.
She declared victory March 3, saying, “I’m proud of the broad coalition we built, bringing people from different communities together to work for change.”
Kamlager faced two other Democrats, two Republicans and two independent candidates on the ballot. Culver City Councilman Daniel Lee, also a Democrat, finished second with 13.46% of the vote. The other fives candidates split about 30% of the vote.
Kamlager said it means a lot to her to replace Mitchell and to serve a district that she loves.
“It’s an honor to follow in the footsteps of my friend and mentor, Holly Mitchell,” Kamlager said. “Working alongside her earlier in my career was a master class in the passion and dedication to community that’s needed to be an effective elected official for your constituents.”
During her three years in the Assembly, Kamlager co-authored probation reform bills, pushed for renter protection rights and sought COVID relief for constituents.
Moving into the Senate, Kamlager said her top priorities are economic recovery from COVID, health care for all and criminal justice reform. Other urgent priorities include climate action, housing the unhoused and equity in its fullest form for women, Black and brown communities and the LGBTQ population.
“We’re in the middle of an enormously important legislative session, addressing COVID and people’s urgent needs,” Kamlager said. “Winning this primary election benefits our community, because it means all the campaigning ends now and I can get right to work as senator, fighting for criminal legal reform, health care for all, and an economy rebuilt in a way that leaves no one behind.”
During her campaign, Kamlager was not shy about saying that she was also running to give Black women representation in the state Legislature. Mitchell was the only Black woman in the Senate before she left, and Kamlager will carry on that mantle.
“Representation matters,” Kamlager said. “We know what happens when we don’t have a seat at the table. Policies and budgets fail us. Having a Black woman — a working mother — in the State Senate is critically important for perspective in the fight for recovery, justice and equity.”
The 30th Senate District runs from West Los Angeles and Culver City on the west to the Westmont area on the south, and includes historic South Los Angeles on the east and Mid-City on the north.
Sue Favor is a freelance reporter for Wave Newspapers, who covers South Los Angeles. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.