The five-way Democratic primary in the 41st Assembly District turned out to be more one-sided than many observers expected, with Julia Brownley winning the nomination by 8 percentage points, or almost 3,000 votes.
How did she do it? In a district with several distinct communities, she dominated in her own territory and then held her own or better everyplace else. It was an impressive performance, given that four of the candidates were from Santa Monica and only one — Calabasas City Councilman Barry Groveman was from the inland portion of the district.
Brownley won the San Fernando Valley segments of the district that are in the city of Los Angeles by just 100 votes over Jonathan Levey, whose campaign zeroed in on those communities. She overwhelming carried her hometown, beating Groveman by 1,000 votes in Santa Monica. She outperformed Kelly Hayes-Raitt by 500 votes in Ventura County, an area targeted by Hayes-Raitt. And she lost by only 300 votes in the four-city cluster that was Groveman's home turf — Calabasas, Agoura Hills, Westlake Village and Hidden Hills.
The impressive win was one of several for Brownley's consultant, Parke Skelton, who also helped engineer the surprising victory of Senate candidate Jenny Oropeza.