Cooley Wins District 8 Primary; Tateishi Squeaks into Second Place

A close battle developed for second place between two Republican candidates in the final hours of vote-counting Tuesday.

Democratic candidate Ken Cooley won an easy primary victory in the newly configured Assembly District 8, according to unofficial results posted early Wednesday morning.

Cooley, a Rancho Cordova city councilman, earned 43 percent of the vote over Republican candidates at 22.3 percent and Barbara Ortega next at 21.0 percent, with all precincts reporting.  Three other candidates trailed, including John Thomas Flynn with 6.5 percent, Janice Marlae Bonser at 4.5 percent and Phillip Tufi, a Rosemont businessman who placed last with 3 percent.

Under new primary rules, the two candidates with the most votes regardless of party affiliation will face off in the November general election.

"I’m very pleased with the results and to me they make sense," said Cooley.  "I’m close to having double the votes to the next person.  I don’t know if that will hold up, but that’s a good place to be."

The close battle for second place was surprising. Tateishi, chief of staff for Rep. Dan Lungren (R-Gold River), was endorsed by the Sacramento Bee and seemingly had an edge.

But Tateishi trailed Ortega until about 11:30 p.m. when he edged ahead.

"As we predicted from our campaign, once votes from people going to the polls started getting counted, things would start to go in our favor," said Tateishi.

District 8 is a new district comprising part of the current District 10, which is represented by Alyson Huber (D-El Dorado Hills).  Huber is not running for re-election but did endorse Cooley for the new seat.

"Alyson’s support early on was a key part in the way this race unfolded," said Cooley.  "There were other Democrats that thought about running, but she endorsed me at the moment when she decided to step aside."

Four of the six candidates running for District 8 were Republicans, including Tufi.  The Rosemont resident, a former executive for Pepsi, said he plans to run again and gained plenty of experience for future campaigns despite his last-place finish.

"It was incredible insight, an incredible experience to have," said Tufi.  "I’m thankful I decided to join in.  I’ve a wonderful time doing this."

Tina Wong June 06, 2012 at 01:59 PM
Appreciate the coverage on local candidates.
Bill Board June 09, 2012 at 04:21 AM
Red Flags should rise high, regarding anyone that is in office and can't manage her own finances and who she endorses.......is her character something that should be applauded.......I will run FROM Cooley, merely because of Huber's endorsement. Snakes lay together and wolves hunt in packs..........beware sheeple. This one has a power play up his sleeve.....and an endorsement from a failed Assembly member.
Emily Ang September 24, 2012 at 06:30 AM
The seat was newly redistricted, so I hardly think you have any validity with that comment Bill, and the chief of staff for a congressional member that lives in DC 9 months out of 12, definitely does not know the different intimate issues that face us as a community here in the greater Sacramento region so don't let the door hit you on the way out. Hope I'm not alive when the world of idiots & apathetic "sheeple" that are so misinformed get to vote.


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