Kamala Harris wins California Senate seat, Mimi Walters wins local reelection to the House

Election Day

Kamala Harris celebrates her victory in the U.S. Senate race at a rally in downtown Los Angeles on Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2016. (Barbara Davidson/Los Angeles Times/TNS)

Staff Writer

Kamala Harris won California’s open Senate seat with a 63% majority of the popular vote, defeating opponent and fellow Democrat Loretta Sanchez.

Harris will be the first Indian-American and second African-American woman to serve in the U.S. Senate.

Incumbent Republican U.S. Congresswoman Mimi Walters beat Democratic challenger Ron Varasteh for the local 45th Congressional District seat, which represents Irvine in the House of Representatives.

At the national level, Republicans now control 51 of the 100 Senate seats, with Democrats winning control of 48 seats. Meanwhile, the Republican Party gained control of 239 House of Representatives seats while Democrats won 192.

The results of the presidential election largely influenced the coinciding down-ballot Senate and House results, as expected by many news sources.

Before the election, the Republican Party held a 10-seat lead and a 54-seat majority in the Senate and a 59-seat lead and a 288-seat majority lead over the Democratic Party in the House of Representatives.

The Senate and House of Representatives largely influence and shape national legislation; both play an important role in implementing the agendas and addressing the issues of the winning party.

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