No Free Ride for Martin Block—- Two Republicans file for the 78th Assembly Seat held from 2002 to 2008 by Shirley Horton

Jim Sills Jim Sills 10 Comments


78th   Assembly   district

Freshman Democrat Assemblyman Martin Block will face a challenge this year as Rick L. Powell and Emma Turner filed preliminary papers this week to seek the GOP nomination in the 78th Assembly distriict.

Shirley Horton won the seat for the GOP in 2002 and held it 6 years until term-limited. Block got the 78th in the Obama wave of 2008, but has lagged in fundraising so far this cycle.

Emma Turner of Spring Valley is an elected member of the La Mesa Spring Valley school board and winner of 2 elections there. She is a psychologist and retired US Naval officer. She has a PhD in psychology and a Master’s in Human Relations.

According to Rostra’s sources, Rick Powell of San Carlos is a retired Army Colonel and also served as Federal agent in both Customs & BATF. He’s an Iraq war veteran, acting as a Brigade commander, and holds the Bronze Star.

Republicans can be Proud to have two such fine and well-
qualified candidates ready to defeat Martin Block and put the 78th back in the GOP column where it belongs.

We will ask each candidate to offer their views to Rostra’s
readers in the future.


Comments 10

  1. I applaud Emma Turner and Rick Powell for putting their hats in the ring, but to take out an incumbent Democrat in a Democratic district you will need an experienced cempaigner and someone with name ID. Where’s John McCann? He did a great job in the worst election for Republicans in 40 years.

  2. John McCann was called to active duty with the US Navy,
    and is defending our country in the “danger zone”.

    This is NOT, however, a Democratic district. Republican
    Shirley Horton proved that with election victories here in
    2002, 2004 and 2006.

    It is a “toss up”. With 2010 looking like a great GOP
    year, either Emma Turner or Rick Powell have a big
    chance in November if they are the nominee.

    That would be a familiar experience for Mr. Block,
    who lost his County Board of Education seat to a
    GOP challenger back in…… 1994 !

  3. Looking only at the numbers at whether the GOP can replicate Horton’s win 6 yrs ago, without the late George Stevens assistance in the AD race.

    78th AD Total Voters: 217,635
    Total Dem Voters: 94,234
    Total GOP Voters: 67,241
    Total DTS Voters: 47,439

    2008 Gen Voter Turn-Out:
    * Martin Block, Democratic ………. 93,835 votes 55.5%
    * John McCann, Republican ………. 75,286 votes 44.5%
    2006 Gen Voter Turn-Out:
    * Shirley Horton, Republican ………. 48,308 votes 51.1%
    * Maxine Sherard, Democratic ………. 43,173 votes 45.7%
    * Geof Gibson, Libertarian ………. 3,056 votes 3.2%
    2004 Gen Voter Turn-Out:
    * Shirley Horton, Republican ………. 76,886 votes 49.1%
    * Patty Davis, Democratic ………. 74,888 votes 47.8%
    * Josh Hale, Libertarian ………. 4,969 votes 3.1%
    2002 Gen Voter Turn-Out:
    * Shirley Horton 45,844 votes 49.4%
    * Vincent Hall 44,215 votes 47.6%
    * Mark Menanno 2,823 votes 3.0%

    Here are the registration numbers for the past 6 yrs and I don’t see how, if the reg numbers stay somewhat the same this November help the GOP take back the district with losing over 11,000 GOP voters and only getting a little more then 6,000 DTS hoping to get them to vote for the GOP candidate:

    Total Dem GOP DTS
    1/5/2010 229,859 98,774 71,185 50,565
    2008 234,884 100,672 74,901 50,177
    2006 212,687 86,973 73,912 42,961
    2004 233,846 97,037 82,615 44,035

  4. Well, of course labor and one of its leaders in Mat K want Republicans to believe that we have no chance in the 78th. Why? Without a real race, Marty wouldn’t have to spend any money defending himself and the resources could be shoveled into other competitive districts. But, the world has changed a bit since the Obama wave. Polling shows a significant percentage of independent voters now favoring Reps, reverse of Nov. 2008. They are ticked, in case you hadn’t noticed. SEIU and the Labor Council can rest assured that Block won’t have a free ride, and we’ll be making this one as competitive as possible, with even the worst case scenario for Republicans being that we force ya’ll to spend the bucks at home defending your own supposedly “safe” seat.

  5. Kostrinsky is right ! Republicans are dreaming if they
    think they will make partisan gains in this environment.
    Party registration edges + Labor Union endorsements
    assure more victories for Democrats!


    Senator Martha Coakley, Massachusetts
    Governor Jon Corzine, New Jersey
    Governor Creigh Deeds, Virginia

  6. First, by the logic above, then Rep Darrell Issa can be beat by a Democrat in the 49th district. Really, are you really saying Rep Issa can be beaten by a Dem in the 49th? I ask you to tell that to him. Though, I think that in the right environment, a seat could be flipped or a football game lost.

    Second, Virginia is not a bedrock Blue state. Sure, New Jersey and Mass are blue states, even with the GOP House members and BOTH having past GOP governors they tend to trend that way.

    Third, I’m not a labor leader, I’m just a person interested in politics and like Barry (Sorry to bring you in Barry) posting his own personal comments not related to his day job.

    Lastly, I don’t look at a race, decide my wished result and pick which rules will or won’t apply to the race. The rules are the rules and sometimes there is an odd variable to skew the outcome like election date, weather, a debate outcome, year of the women, etc… Though, reading some of the folks here on this blog it seems they are more interested in predicting their wished outcomes and playing with what rules will apply to a certain race like does name ID matter, having a decade and half of past wins count, comparing bank accounts, party registration numbers, previous turnout numbers, endorsements, etc…

    The only real answer is Election Day.

  7. Issa can’t be beaten because he is a popular, long term incumbent who is incredibly wealthy. Apples to Oranges Matt.

    Keep in mind that 06 was not a good year and Shirley still won by 5k votes. Yes she was popular and there was a fine tuned organization behind her, but she also had a 4 years of a voting record and things collapsed nationally the last few weeks. If it wasn’t for the national scene it could have been 8k+ votes. So the votes are there.

    RE: Registration. We all know (you included Matt) that the Obama registration drive of ’08 will largely not turn out in ’10 under virtually any turnout model. Sorry, that crutch won’t be there.

    Conclusion: Is it uphill, yes. Is it impossible, no. If we have the right candidate I’d still give Marti 3/2 to retain his seat but if he actually did’t run in 08 a moderate and vote the past 2 years like an extreme liberal things could have been different for him. That and the fact that he is weak on cash spell a serious bail out is going to be necessary at the minimum.

  8. Horton 06 thank you for agreeing with me and helping prove my point that this is not a toss-up race, as some commented earlier in this post and I said, “I don’t see how … the GOP take back the district.” You even give it a 3/2 odds, more then double your money back.

    My point about the Rep Darrell Issa comment seems to be lost, but it was no matter the previous conditions no open seat or incumbent is really safe for either party with the right environment, just look at Gov Corzine and Rep Pombo as incumbents, then open seats iwith Sen Brown (MA) and Rep Owen (NY). Though, there needs to be the right situation per that exact race on that exact race’s variables and don’t pull stuff out of the hat from 3,000 miles away as the only variable. Under x, y and z conditions then x seat is open for the open party to pick-up. Larkin at least acknowledged it would be an uphill battle with his “competitive as possible” comment and not a toss up.

    Goodnight, Irene!

  9. True to an extent, which is a big share of the reason the Conservatives set out passing on the Republicans a entire decade ago, or at the very least stopped voting for their candidates. Im pretty middle-of-the-road, but no way was I going to vote for a Bush or McCain. All The Same, the Presidency simply has so much force – they CANNOT pass and a more accurate assesment of spending comes from looking at who is working the House and Senate, not the White House. The Obamabots are making a differentiation when it accommodates them as their President sputters to act out his agenda, and the Bushies did the comparable when the state of affairs was reversed later in his Presidency.

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