Claremont resident prepares for campaign trail after primary victory

One of Claremont’s own is on the ballot for November’s general election.

Republican Donna Lowe, who also serves as a Claremont community and human services commissioner, has been selected by California voters as one of 2 candidates for the newly redistricted 41st Assembly. Ms. Lowe received the nomination with 13,892 votes. She was only surpassed by Pasadena City Councilmember and Democrat Chris Holden, who received 17,129 votes.

The June primary marked the first general election with a new 2-tiered voting system, in which the top 2 candidates were selected for the final November election regardless of political affiliation. Ms. Lowe and Mr. Holden beat out 3 other candidates, 2 of which were running under the Democratic ticket. Winning under these circumstances made the victory even more exciting for the Claremont resident.

“This is really huge. I think California is slowly starting to realize we cannot sustain and support vital government services like education, infrastructure and social services unless we have a strong thriving business community,” she said. “People need to put party [affiliation] aside for this election and look at the goals the candidates are trying to accomplish.”

Ms. Lowe spent much of election night at Pasadena’s Green Hotel, surrounded by family and friends as the absentee ballots started to roll in. Even after returning home around 9:30 p.m. and hosting a pizza party to celebrate the favorable results, Ms. Lowe admits she was not able to fully unwind. It wasn’t until about 2 a.m. when she was able to finally bask in the moment.

“I’m just so elated,” she said in the wake of Tuesday’s results. “It’s truly nice to know people see through all the media hype of ‘Oh, she’s a Tea Party activist.’ There is nothing radical about me. It’s all common sense stuff. You can’t give out more than you take in, and that is exactly what Sacramento is doing.”

Even more memorable for Ms. Lowe than the win itself was being able to share the moment with her mother, Kay Brumbalow. Ms. Brumbalow traveled to Claremont from Texas to take part in the occasion with her youngest daughter. After Ms. Lowe’s father fell ill last month, she was unsure whether or not her mother would be able to make the trip.

“She got to see firsthand what her baby has done,” Ms. Lowe said. “Seeing her youngest win an election of this caliber was really cool. She was pretty excited.”

In the months leading to the fall election, Ms. Lowe feels that the clear-cut differences between her and her opponent, Mr. Holden, will make selecting a candidate easy for voters of the 41st Assembly district. She cited his backing of public unions versus her support for free market enterprise as one key area of difference.  

“We are diometrically opposed to one another. It should make it pretty easy for voters,” she said, adding, “I don’t think there is anything more important than those issues right now. The middle class has been squashed in California and that’s why we are losing so many people to other states.”

Several days after the election, Ms. Lowe is finally coming down from the primary-election high and refocusing on her message and the campaign trail ahead. She prepares to travel to Sacramento late next week to strategize the next step with state legislators. During that time, volunteers of the Donna Lowe campaign will get a much-deserved vacation before moving the campaign forward with full force.

“We welcome all supporters: Democrat, Republican, ‘Purple Hair Party’ and whoever else is out there,” Ms. Lowe laughed. “This is just a message of fiscal sanity and getting our middle class back to work in sustainable private sector jobs.”

—Beth Hartnett


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