Updated: 11 a.m. Nov. 7
Rep. Henry Waxman, a Democrat whose career in Congress began in 1975, claimed victory Wednesday in the race for the new 33rd Congressional District, defeating Independent challenger Bill Bloomfield, a Manhattan Beach businessman who built a multi-million campaign war chest.
"I can't thank you enough for your support and for giving me the honor of representing you in Congress," Waxman said in a statement.
The longtime politician defeated his opponent in spite of being outspent by nearly $5 million. His statement continued:
Whether it's putting us on a path to fiscal responsibility or finally dealing with the climate change crisis, there's a path to real progress and change.
We've been able to accomplish a lot together—from a strong Clean Air Act, to the Affordable Care Act, to landmark legislation on tobacco—and we have much more to do. I've never been more confident that we'll be able to surmount the obstacles in front of us and make our country stronger and better for generations to come.
The candidates for the 33rd District raised the fifth most money of all the House races at $8.4 million and spent the seventh highest amount at $7.8 million. Bloomfield raised $6.4 million—more than four times the $1.5 million that Waxman raised. See the breakdown here.
At Bloomfield headquarters in Manhattan Beach late Tuesday, residents watched the early reports trickle in, with the candidates in a tight race. The results came to a halt when heavy fog prevented helicopters from delivering cast ballots that had yet to be counted.
"The fact is that running a close race is beneficial in and of itself because it's the first time in 44 years Congressman Waxman has had a close race, and actually a race," Bloomfield said. "But winning is what it's about. We need to go to Congress and get it working. And continue with our firm agenda of advancing open primaries in every district and more importantly, getting Congress working."
What do you think of the results in the Waxman/Bloomfield race? Tell us in the comments section below.
The new 33rd District stretches from the Palos Verdes Peninsula to the Beach Cities, through slivers of Marina del Rey and Venice, up to Santa Monica, Malibu, Calabasas and Agoura Hills. The district also extends inland to include Brentwood, Pacific Palisades, Beverly Hills and parts of West L.A.
Waxman currently represents the 30th Congressional District.
My opponent Mr. Bloomfield has a record of being in the Republican Party. I’m proud of being a Democrat. I’ve been a Democrat all my political career and I’m proud of being a Democrat and what I fight for. He has been a Republican and he’s now saying he’s an Independent.
I don’t know what that means to be an Independent when he has been a lifelong Republican and he’s given to McCain and Romney and John Boehner. I would presume he’s going to side with the Republicans more often than not and if he left the Republican Party because they’re extreme, he’s right about that. — .
Bloomfield is running on the Independent ticket, having left the Republican Party in March 2011.
The key is to get Congress working. We need to deal with the hyper-partisanship.
We need to get the two sides talking together and I think I'm very qualified to do that with my participation in this group No Labels, my successful work on election reform, both redistricting reform as well as open primaries, and my track record of taking on special interests and, unlike Congressman Waxman, special interests indiscriminately, meaning the special interests that have been funding the Democratic Party as well as the special interests that have been funding Republican Party because it's very important that we have people in [Washington,] D.C. who are immune from the power of these special interests, and not just one side. — .
Both candidates support abortion rights and same-sex marriage. On the death penalty, Bloomfield supports it and Waxman does not. But Bloomfield said he would vote for Proposition 34, which ends the death penalty in California, because the penalty is costing the state too much money.
As one of the architects of Obamacare, Waxman champions the law for providing heathcare to people with pre-existing conditions and young adults who wish to stay on a parent's plan, as well as for its preventative care measures. While Bloomfield has said he supports those aspects of Obamacare, he is against the plan's taxes on medical devices and how it prevents the federal government from negotiating for bulk rates on prescription drugs.
During 2012, Waxman's campaign has raised $1.57 million and spent $1.76 million with $802,571 cash on hand and no debt. Bloomfield's campaign has raised $6.41 million and spent $5.65 million in 2012, with $765,522 cash on hand and $990,748 in debt.
Campaign finance information is for Jan. 1, 2012, through Oct. 17, 2012, and comes from OpenSecrets.org.
Which candidate do you want to win this race and why? Tell us in the comments below.