Despite his status as the Santa Maria hometown favorite for the U.S. Representative of the 23rd congressional district, challenger Victor Tognazzini lost in a landslide. The Republican snagged just 34.8 percent of the vote, while incumbent Lois Capps, D-Santa Barbara, received 65 percent. Considering the demographics of this coastal congressional district, the results didn't surprise the challenger himself.
"What I look at now is that we ran a very good campaign. It was all a grassroots deal," Tognazzini said. "[But] the thing that I've heard most out there is that we need [to change] these district boundaries. No one likes them because it doesn't make for good governance.
"They're made to protect the incumbents," he continued, "and so they need to be changed to protect the interests of the community."
Tognazzini currently serves as the board chair of the Santa Maria Joint Union High School District. He said he'd consider running for a congressional office again.
The valley-based 22nd congressional district, which includes much of eastern San Luis Obispo and the North County, remained red with GOP assemblyman Kevin McCarthy's 71-29 defeat of Arroyo Grande resident Sharon Beery. Republican Bill Thomas held the ag-heavy district for almost 30 years before announcing his plans to retire in March.