By BROOKE EDWARDS STAGGS, Staff Writer
Republican Tim Donnelly was on track Tuesday night to secure his spot on the State Assembly, leading in the race to represent the High Desert in the newly drawn 33rd Assembly District.
Donnelly, who currently serves as Assemblyman for the 59th District, had 62.1 percent of the vote as of preliminary data released by the San Bernardino County Registrar of Voters. The Twin Peaks resident was elected to the Assembly in November 2010 but moved to the 33rd District race after boundaries were redrawn during 2011 redistricting.
Trailing behind was John Coffey, a Democratic candidate from the Newberry Springs area who serves as a paraeducator. Coffey had 37.9 percent of the vote, with 96 of 580 precincts reporting as of 10:05 p.m.
During the June 5 primary race, Donnelly and Coffey advanced to the November election after beating out William “Bill” Jahn, a Republican who serves as mayor of Big Bear. Donnelly garnered 52.1 percent of the vote to Coffey’s 28.7 percent and Jahn’s 19.3 percent.
Donnelly spent $202,345 this year on his campaign, according to information on file with the California Secretary of State.
He who rode a wave of Tea Party support to win the 2010 election. Once in office, he sought to push illegal immigration to the forefront of public debate through an unsuccessful initiative to repeal the Dream Act, which provided state funds for illegal immigrants to attend state universities.
Coffey, who did not have campaign finance information on file with the Secretary of State, received endorsements from several labor groups, including the International Longshore & Warehouse Union’s Southern California chapter, the AFL-CIO Riverside-San Bernardino County Labor Council and the California Labor Federation.
In the wake of the primary, Coffey filed a lawsuit against the California Correctional Peace Officer’s Association Independent Expenditure Committee claiming that the union mass-mailed fliers accusing him of domestic violence and unpaid child support. He’s seeking $60.6 million in damages through the pending suit.
These results represent the final numbers available as of press time Tuesday night. Check VVDailyPress.com for updated results Wednesday.
Brooke Edwards Staggs may be reached at (760) 955-5358 or at bedwards@VVDailyPress.com.