CSUN alumna concedes in Santa Clarita district race


William Franco Espinosa

“I Voted” stickers are given out to those who vote in the 2022 California general election inside the Premier America Credit Union Arena at CSUN on Monday, Nov. 7, 2022, in Northridge, Calif. Nov. 8 marks the 2022 California general election that includes federal, statewide and judicial candidates, as well as ballot propositions, local candidates and measures.

Marissa Roberts, Assistant News Editor

Republican incumbent and CSUN alumna Suzette Martinez Valladares conceded to Democrat Pilar Schiavo in the race to represent California Assembly District 40 on Tuesday, Nov. 29.

Valladares was down by roughly 500 votes after the latest numbers were released on Tuesday afternoon, according to the Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk.

She conceded in a social media post by saying that a path to victory was no longer possible.

Valladares told the Santa Clarita Valley Signal that because the race was so close, she believes Schiavo has some work to do to connect with her constituents.

“I think she understands that she’s going to have to build some relationships with the community,” Valladares said.

Schiavo won in a district that was redrawn after the 2020 census. Valladares noted the change in constituents in her concession statement.

“We knew that when we were drawn into a district where President Biden won by sixteen points and Democrats hold a thirteen-point registration advantage, this would be a next to impossible task,” Valladares wrote in her statement.

Schiavo is a Chatsworth resident who will soon represent parts of Santa Clarita and the San Fernando Valley, including Northridge, according to her campaign website. She has 20 years of experience working in the labor movement, working for nearly 13 years as a nurse advocate for the California Nurses Association.

This was Schiavo’s first time running for public office. During her tenure she wants to advocate for guaranteed health care for all Californians, affordable housing, and policies that fight climate change, according to her website.

Schiavo claimed victory on Nov. 21 when she was just 511 votes ahead at the time. In her statement, she said that she was the only candidate to flip a red seat blue in a race where Valladares outspent her campaign 2-to-1.

“I am so proud of the campaign we ran and I am so honored to be entrusted by the voters of
Assembly District 40 to represent them in Sacramento,” Schiavo said.

Schiavo was sworn into office on Monday, Dec. 5.