Both Quirk-Silva and Norby Declare 65th Assembly Race Over

Fullerton Mayor Sharon Quirk-Silva claimed victory Thursday over Republican incumbent Chris Norby in the 65th Assembly District race, a result that gives Democrats a supermajority in both houses of the California Legislature.

“I’m very proud of the results,” Quirk-Silva said Thursday in a telephone conversation from Sacramento, where she has spent the week going through orientation for her new position.

Norby, in an interview with The Orange County Register, acknowledged his loss.

“I think it’s over,” he told the Register. “I expect that my public life will end at the end of this month.”

Norby didn't officially concede, telling the Register, “I can’t say if there were a miracle, it’s not like I’d turn it down.”

But he acknowledged Quirk-Silva's lead has continued to increase since the Nov. 6 election. In addition, the Associated Press called the race for Quirk-Silva Wednesday.

The most recent totals available Wednesday night from the county registrar of voters showed Quirk-Silva led Norby by 3,348 votes with 11,434 ballots left to count.

Quirk-Silva’s lead has grown consistently since her Nov. 6 election night margin of about 1,000 votes. The next day, Steven Maviglio, spokesman for Assembly Democrats, told Voice of OC, "We’re pretty confident it [the lead] is going to hold up.”

Quirk-Silva’s surprise win gave Democrats their first supermajority in the 80-member Assembly in 120 years. The party also has a two-thirds majority in the state Senate.

Nonetheless, Quirk-Silva said she intended to try to work with both Democrats and Republicans on major issues. She said her eight years as a political minority on the Republican-dominated Fullerton City Council taught her the importance of being able to work with politicians with differing views.

“My focus is going to be on serving the people of the 65th District,” she said. “Although I am a team player, I will keep in mind who elected me.”

A supermajority, she said, “is not a mandate to Democrats to not be diligent” in serving the public.

She also thanked Norby for “his years of public service to our community.”

Norby was a Fullerton city councilman and member of the Orange County Board of Supervisors before winning election to the Assembly in 2009.

His district had been considered safely Republican. That Democrats won their supermajority thanks to a victory in Orange County was possibly the major political upset in California this year.

The district, whose North Orange County borders were redrawn last year during redistricting by a citizens group, includes Fullerton, Buena Park, La Palma, Cypress, Stanton and western Anaheim.

— TRACY WOOD

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