John Newman to win 29th district senate seat

Josh Newman speaking to voters at a rally on Election Night alongside Democrat candidate Gil Cisneros. (Carlos Cordova / Daily Titan)

Democrat Josh Newman will once again represent California’s 29th State Senate district after Republican Ling Ling Chang conceded the election on Friday. He will begin his term on Jan. 6 when the state legislature reconvenes.

Newman declared victory on Thursday evening, and announced that Chang had conceded the race in a tweet posted on Friday morning.

“I’m incredibly proud, as well as very humbled, that the voters of my district have once again granted me the honor and privilege of representing them in the California Legislature,” he said in the tweet.

The 29th State Senate District represents 16 cities, including Fullerton, Yorba Linda, Diamond Bar and Chino Hills. 

Newman is the second Democrat representative to flip a state Senate seat this election after Democrat Dave Min took over the seat for the 37th State Senate district, located in Orange County. 

Newman ran a campaign that focused on veterans’ services and climate change, in addition to COVID-19 relief and recovery, which includes accessible and affordable healthcare, economic assistance for businesses and educational adaptations for distance learning.

Newman previously served as state senator in the same district until he was recalled in 2018 after he voted to pass a controversial bill that would have increased taxes. Chang won the seat for the 29th State Senate District after she earned over 50,000 votes to replace Newman as a result of the Special Recall Election. 

This is the second time Newman and Chang have faced off. In 2016, Newman defeated Chang by a razor-thin margin of 2,498 votes and took back the district after three decades of Republican control. 

Chang announced her concession through an email. At the time of issuing her concession, Chang failed to be reelected, as she was behind by over 10,000 votes.

“These are not the results we hoped for, but the margin shows there is still a great deal of support for our efforts to ease the tax burden on Californians, bolster public health and move toward economic recovery,” Chang said in the statement. “I am so proud of all that my team and I have accomplished and serving as your Senator has been the greatest honor of my life.” 

Addressing her supporters, Chang expressed gratitude and emphasized a peaceful transition and a need for “real leadership.”

She served as the only Asian American woman in the California Legislature during her term. In her concession email, she calls for more young women and people from the Asian and Pacific Islander community to run for office. 

“It is not easy but we need more of you in elected office,” Chang said. “I started my career unseating a 20-year incumbent on a local water board and later had the honor of serving in the State Senate. After serving, I can tell you having female voices in the halls of power is crucial for our state.”

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