Capitol Alert

Map: Patty Lopez carried dozens of precincts on way to surprise Assembly win

Freshman Assembly member Patty Lopez, D-San Fernando, left, helps her mother, Maria de Jesus, with her hair before the start of the Assembly session on Dec. 1, 2014. Lopez defeated incumbent Raul Bocanegra, D-Los Angeles by 466 votes.
Freshman Assembly member Patty Lopez, D-San Fernando, left, helps her mother, Maria de Jesus, with her hair before the start of the Assembly session on Dec. 1, 2014. Lopez defeated incumbent Raul Bocanegra, D-Los Angeles by 466 votes. AP

There have been various theories about how Patty Lopez, an underfunded community volunteer with no political experience, last month managed to defeat Raul Bocanegra, an up-and-coming incumbent with hundreds of thousands of campaign dollars at his disposal.

Did ballot order in the Democrat-vs.-Democrat race for the San Fernando Valley seat favor Lopez? Did the support of one of Lopez’s rivals from the June primary make the difference in November?

Whatever the causes, the final results show there also was a geographic piece to Bocanegra’s upset loss. Bocanegra was the top voter-getter in many of the 39th Assembly District’s centrally located precincts. Lopez, though, did well in most of the district’s eastern and southern precincts. She ended up carrying 109 precincts, about two-dozen more than Bocanegra.

Click on the slideshow above to see a map of each candidate’s precinct margin of victory. Below is an interactive map of the outcome. Click on a precinct for more information.

Call Jim Miller, Bee Capitol Bureau, (916) 326-5521. Follow him on Twitter @jimmiller2.

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