By Liset Marquez, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin
Posted: 10/25/14, 2:49 PM PDT | Updated: 1 min ago

As candidates for the 40th Assembly District make their final campaign stops, speak to voters and gain endorsements, one local expert said the Nov. 4 turnout will be a factor in how competitive the race will be.

Republican Marc Steinorth and Democrat Kathleen Henry are vying for the Assembly seat formerly held by Mike Morrell, who won election to the state Senate in a March special election. The district stretches from Rancho Cucamonga to Redlands.

“Conventional wisdom would lean more Republican,” said Marcia Godwin, an associate professor of public administration at the University of La Verne. “A lot depends on the success of increasing their voter turnouts in an off-presidential year.”

According to the San Bernardino County of Registrar of Voters Office, the percentage of registered Republican and Democrats in the district is virtually even at 37 percent with the remaining 26 percent split into various other affiliations. Republicans hold a slight lead, though, with 134 more voters than Democrats.

In the June 3 primary election, Steinorth garnered 53 percent of the votes over Henry, who battled two other Democrats to win the runoff with 17 percent.

In 2012, there was a relatively high turnout because it was a presidential election Godwin said.

Godwin, who tracks local elections, noted that in the last election the Democratic candidate, Russ Warner, lost by only 1,000 votes. And in this general election, the Democratic Party has been active in registering voters for absentee voting and voting by mail, Godwin said.

“The area has seen more Democrats registering over time,” she said.

Even though San Bernardino County has been trending more Democratic, the turnout out may favor the Republicans in this cycle, Godwin said.

Henry, of Highland, said she decided to run when she saw real a need in the Inland Empire that she couldn’t meet as a member of the San Bernardino Community College District board of trustees. Henry said she would like to see more industrial diversity.

“It’s been far too long that we haven’t had anything brought back to us from the state Assembly,” she said. “I believe in service and making a difference.”

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