Pavley, Levine vie for Senate seat


The heavily Democratic populated Senate district will most likely stay in the Democrats’ hands.

By Jonathan Friedman / Assistant Editor

The General Election is not until November, but Malibu’s next representative in the state Senate will likely be known by Tuesday night. Democratic voters in the 23rd Senate District, which includes Malibu, will select a Democratic nominee for the seat being vacated by termed-out Sen. Sheila Kuehl in Tuesday’s primary election. Assemblymember Lloyd Levine and former Assemblymember Fran Pavley are running for Kuehl’s seat.

Because of the 23rd Senate District’s demographics, the winner of this primary will most likely defeat the Republican nominee in November. The Senate district includes portions of Los Angeles and Ventura counties. In addition to Malibu, it includes all or most of Oxnard, Port Hueneme, Westlake Village, Agoura Hills, Calabasas, Hidden Hills, Topanga, Pacific Palisades, Brentwood, Santa Monica, Bel-Air, Beverly Hills, West Hollywood, Studio City, Sherman Oaks, Encino, Tarzana, Woodland Hills, West Hills, Canoga Park and Chatsworth. Approximately 850,000 people live within the district. Of the district’s nearly 400,000 registered voters, 50 percent are Democrats and 24 percent are Republicans, according to the Los Angeles County Registrar’s Office.

Pavley, a 59-year-old Agoura Hills resident who has received the endorsement of the Malibu Democratic Club and Sen. Kuehl, served as the representative of the state Assembly District that includes Malibu from the year 2000 to 2006. Pavley authored and co-authored several pieces of major environmental legislation during her time in the Assembly, including AB 32, which was passed into law in 2006 and placed limits on greenhouse gas emissions.

Levine, 39, is a resident of the San Fernando Valley. That area’s Democratic party endorsed him. Levine was elected to the 40th Assembly District in 2002, and is termed-out this year. He is also known for his environmental record, having authored AB 2449, which was passed into law last year. It requires most grocery stores and drug stores to offer plastic bag recycling programs. He also reversed his previous pro-stance on the now defeated BHP Billiton liquefied natural gas terminal proposal for the coast of Malibu.

Republicans vie for seats

Two Republicans are running in the primary. Leonard M. Lanzi, an executive with the nonprofit Junior Achievement, is an openly gay man who is liberal on most social issues, while his economic views lean conservative. Lanzi is the treasurer for both the Log Cabin Republicans of California and its Los Angeles chapter. He ran against Kuehl in the 2004 Senate election, receiving 29 percent support to Kuehl’s 66 percent.

Lanzi’s opponent, Rick Montaine, is a systems security analyst. He ran against Levine for the Assembly seat in 2006, receiving 37 percent of the vote to Levine’s 63 percent.

Democratic Assembly-member Julia Brownley is running for her second two-year term as the representative of the 41st Assembly District, which includes Malibu. She is running unopposed in Tuesday’s primary. Running for the Republican nomination, also unopposed, is Mark Bernsley. He is an attorney from Woodland Hills. Like the 23rd Senate District, the 41st Assembly District is heavily Democratic.

Malibu voters will also have the 30th U.S. Congressional District on Tuesday’s ballot, although there is no choice to be made. Henry Waxman, who has represented the district since 1975, is running unopposed for the Democratic nomination. The Republicans do not have a candidate in the race.

Eminent domain props on ballot

There are also two state propositions on the ballot involving the subject of eminent domain. Both propositions prevent state and local governments from taking private property for private use, but there are some differences. Proposition 98 calls for the protection of residences and businesses, while Proposition 99 only involves residences. Also, Proposition 98 calls for the phasing out of rent control laws. If both propositions pass, the one that receives the most votes will become the law.