Kern County is one of the few conservative bastions in the largely liberal state of California, and, now, Kern County's Republicans are looking at a Democratic domination of state government for the next two years.
That was the message that republican political consultant and commentator Cathy Abernathy brought to Taft in a speech to the Rotary Club of Taft.
While much of the attention Tuesday night and Wednesday was focused on the presidential election, which returned Barack Obama to the White House for a second term, Abernathy, who is also chief of staff to Assemblymember Shannon Grove, talked about the state and local elections.
After Tuesday's election, Democrats have supermajorities in both the legislature and state senate, giving them all the votes they need to pass any legislation, Abernathy said, and a Democratic governor who won't be inclined to veto any legislation that comes out of the legislature.
“They now have the key to raise taxes. They don't need Republicans,” said Abernathy. “They can raise billions of dollars, billions of taxes.”
Giving one party that kind of unchecked power isn't healthy, she said.
“I think its very dangerous for one party to have that kind of control,” she said.
Abernathy said the Democrats worked very hard and spent heavily to win key assembly and state senate seats, including the very close 32nd assembly district that Bakersfield City Councilman Rudy Salas, a Democrat, has apparently won in a very close race over Republican Pedro Rios.
“They worked very hard to get this seat,” she said.
She also credited the Democrats with working harder to get the vote out, something that paid off not only in state races, but in the presidential election was well.
Abernathy discussed other races, as well, ranging from county to federal.
She pointed out that Kern County was just about opposite the rest of the state, voting heavily for Mitt Romney for President while the state as a whole voted heavily for Obama.
The same thing happened in the United States Senate race.
Kern County voters voted overwhelmingly for Republican Elizabeth Emken, giving her 60 percent of the vote to 40 percent for Democratic incumbent Dianne Feinstein, but the totals were reversed in the state.
She also reflected on the race for the First District seat on the Kern County Board of Supervisors, where Mick Gleason, a retired commander in the United States Navy's China Lake Navel Weapons Center, defeated former supervisor, assemblyman and state senator Roy Ashburn.
“That was probably the final death knell” for Ashburn's political career, she said.