ASSEMBLY 18 | Assemblyman-elect Rob Bonta declared victory in the 18th Assembly District late Monday night. His opponent Abel Guillen conceded shortly after, but failed to acknowledge his opponent in a brief statement.
“I first want to salute my opponent Abel Guillen for his public service and his forceful campaign,” Bonta said Monday night. “The results indicate voters had two very good choices and while I am grateful for our campaign’s success, I am mindful of the issues Trustee Guillen and I agree must be addressed and that we will need to work together.”
Referring to his campaign platform of public safety, schools and creating jobs, Bonta says he is “ready to get to work starting today.” His election to the state Assembly is also historic. Bonta becomes the first-ever Filipino American member of the Assembly. He replaces termed-out Assemblyman Sandre Swanson representing Oakland, Alameda and San Leandro in the Legislature’s lower house.
With some provisional ballots still to be counted in Alameda County through Monday, Bonta maintains a two percentage points lead over Guillen. The spread has been relatively consistent since the initial release of absentee ballot results on Election Night.
Guillen’s concession statement, however , made no mention of Bonta’s victory. The lack of any conciliatory comments is a glaring omission. In contrast, vastly more hostile intra-party local races between Pete Stark and Eric Swalwell; and Bill Quirk and Dr. Jennifer Ong featured acknowledgement of their opponent’s efforts.
Instead, Guillen thanked his supporters and vowed to continue his work as a Peralta Community College trustee. “While the outcome is not what we hoped for,” he said, “I am honored to have had your support and your involvement in this campaign. It means the world to me.”
The result also has ramifications for Alameda. Bonta’s win open his seat for Stewart Chen, last week’s third-place finisher in the Alameda City Council race. Chen, who finished behind councilmembers-elect Marilyn Ezzy Ashcraft and Tony Daysog, will serve out the remaining two years of Bonta’s term.