Update 5:56 p.m.
Diamond Bar and Walnut have a new congressman.
U.S. Rep. Ed Royce, R-Fullerton, was victorious in his bid for the a seat in the newly redrawn 39th District, defeating Democratic challenger Jay Chen.
With all precincts reporting, Royce, whose been in Congress for 20 years, earned 59.1 percent of the vote in the district for a count of 115,443 compared to Chen's count of 79,766 or 40.9 percent, according to the California Secretary of State website.
"I want to thank the voters of the 39th district for placing their trust in me to represent them in the House of Representatives," Royce said in a statement. "The 39th is a dynamic and diverse district and it is an honor to represent it. I also want to thank the over 1,800 volunteers who worked so hard to make this resounding victory possible. It is now time to put the campaign behind us and work to restore our economy, create good jobs and reduce the federal debt."
Diamond Bar and Walnut voters also returned State Sen. Bob Huff, R-Diamond Bar, and Assemblyman Curt Hagman, R-Chino Hills, back to office.
The Senate Republican Leader's count was 127,761 for 56.5 percent of the vote. His Democratic challenger Greg Diamond finished with 98,532 votes, 43.5 percent.
Hagman received 78,872 votes, finishing with 60.6 percent, while Democratic rival Gregg Fritchle had a count of 49,875 or 39.4 percent of the vote.
Incumbents vying in state and federal races to represent Diamond Bar and Walnut appeared to be on the road to victory following Tuesday’s election.
In the newly redrawn 39th Congressional District, longtime U.S. Rep. Ed Royce, R-Fullerton, faced off against Democratic challenger Jay Chen in a race that got heated in its final months.
By 2:15 a.m., Royce had a firm lead with 99,724 votes or 60.7 percent, according to the California Secretary of State’s website. Chen’s count was 64,589 or 39.3 percent of the vote.
“We are very happy with the results so far,” said Dave Gilliard, a consultant for Royce’s campaign. “The congressman has been working tirelessly since the district lines were drawn.”
Gilliard said Royce walked precincts on Election Day and made phone calls at campaign headquarters up until the polls closed.
“He didn’t take anything for granted,” Gilliard said.
The race between Royce and Chen had grown more contentious in the closing weeks with Chen calling some of Royce’s campaign mailers racist and Royce trying to affiliate Chen with China with mention of a Super PAC funded by Chen’s brother Shaw Chen.
Gilliard said that Royce did not expect that level of outside spending in the race and that the campaign pushed hard to overcome the opposition.
Chen, a businessman and Hacienda-La Puente Unified school board member, said that despite trailing in the preliminary results, he felt good about his showing.
“We couldn’t overcome his 20-year name recognition in Orange County or his $4 million war chest,” Chen said of Royce. “I am proud of the campaign we ran.”
Chen said he felt the campaign pushed Royce to moderate some of what he saw as the congressman’s ultra conservative stances and forced the incumbent to spent a great deal of money to win.
“For the amount of money he spent against us, we made an impact,” said Chen, who is Taiwanese American. “His attempts to affiliate me with China probably did have an impact on voters, but it also energized our supporters.”
In the new 29th State Senate District, incumbent Bob Huff, R-Diamond Bar, had a significant lead over challenger Greg Diamond in early results.
By 2:15 a.m., Huff’s count was at 112,490 or 57 percent of the vote compared to Diamond with 84,820.
Huff, the Senate Republican Leader, watched the election night returns at the City of Industry’s Hot Spot Lounge in the Pacific Palms Hotel and Conference Center.
Huff said even with redistricting making his area less of a safe seat, he never felt too concerned because it remained majority Republican.
He said if re-elected, he plans to continue to focus on reforming government and finding ways to use resources more efficiently.
“It humbling to be elected to represent people and it is gratifying when you represent them and they send you back for another bite of the apple,” he said.
Diamond, an attorney and blogger for Orangejuiceblog.com, said that he was pleased with the early results.
“I think given the disparity in the amount of money we had to work with, it was quite a good showing,” he said, adding that he had about $12,000 in his campaign coffers.
Diamond said other Democrats benefited from his being on the ballot, including Sharon Cork, who ran for assembly in Orange County, and Jay Chen. The candidates shared a campaign office in Fullerton and made some joint appearances, he said.
Diamond said that he feels Chen could make a successful run in 2014 based on what the upstart accomplished this time around and blasted Royce for putting out campaign mailers he said was “bigoted against Asians.”
“People here love him within the party,” the Brea resident said of Chen. “He’s smart, charismatic, and personally I think he will finish with 40 percent.”
Also on the ballot was the state assembly race.
Republican State Assemblyman Curt Hagman, R-Chino Hills, had a commanding lead over Democratic opponent Gregg Fritchle as the clock ticked past 2 a.m.
Hagman’s count was at 62,374 or 62.8 percent of the vote to Fritchle’s 36,976 or 37.2 percent as of 2:15 a.m., according to the Secretary of State’s website. The two men were vying to represent the newly redrawn 55th assembly district seat, which will serve Diamond Bar and Walnut.
“I appreciate the confidence the voters have given me to represent them again,” Hagman said. “Now it’s time to get through the election and start working together and get California back on track.”
Hagman’s challenger said he understood that the race would be hard to win.
“I knew going in that I would be a long shot,” Fritchle said. “I’m not making any assumptions about where it’s going to go.”
Fritchle, a social worker, joined fellow Democrats at their party at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles after working a full day shift of his job. He was calling the celebration a night around midnight.
Regardless of what happens, Fritchle said he intended to stay active in the political process, he said. He planned to take some time to include how but it could include running again or participating in another campaign.
--Freelancer Kristen Lepore contributed to this report.