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The Palos Verdes Peninsula Chamber of Commerce hosted a Legislative forum that included Assembly member Al Muratsuchi, also included were Senator Ben Allen, Supervisor Janice Hahn and Congressman Ted Lieu. Friday October 11, 2019 (Photo by Chuck Bennett, Contributing Photographer)

Torrance Democrat Al Muratsuchi grabbed a 40-point lead in early returns in his effort to retain his 66th Assembly District seat during early returns of Tuesday’s primary.

Muratsuchi went up against opponent Arthur Schaper, a far-right Republican, who was not endorsed by his party. Schaper is a devoted supporter of President Donald Trump, an activist and a blogger.

It is not known what percentage of the vote has been counted yet; the Los Angeles County Registrar’s office has not posted those numbers.

The district — which includes Manhattan Beach, the Palos Verdes Peninsula communities, Redondo Beach and Torrance — encompasses some politically divided territory, with just a few more Dems than GOP members.

Muratsuchi is on the other end of the spectrum. His Assembly Bill 342, signed by the governor last year, was created to fight the Trump Administration’s plan to frack and drill for oil in federally protected lands by prohibiting new oil and gas pipelines and other infrastructure on state lands.

First elected to the Assembly in 2012, Muratsuchi was narrowly beaten in 2014 by Republican David Hadley. In the 2016 rematch, Muratsuchi snatched the seat back.

Muratsuchi was a deputy California Attorney General, trustee for the Torrance Unified School District and a trustee for the Southern California Regional Occupation Center.

He’s the current chairman of the Assembly Budget Subcommittee on Education Finance and the Assembly Select Committee on Aerospace.

Contact Lisa Jacobs lisa.jacobs@TBRnews.com or follow her on Twitter @lisaannjacobs.

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