Sonny Bono's widow won his House seat Tuesday by beating the actor who played the patriarch on "The Waltons" in a special election.
"I believe it's really very simple - running a positive campaign on the issues," Mary Bono, a Republican, said at a victory party.Her husband died in a skiing accident earlier this year.
"He'd be proud and he'd be thinking `I knew you could do it,' " she said.
The race attracted national attention as both major parties looked to build momentum going into November's congressional elections.
With all 290 precincts reporting, Bono had 50,841 votes, or 64 percent of the vote, while actor Ralph Waite, a Democrat, had 22,787 votes, or 29 percent. Four other candidates trailed.
Bono is the second widow to succeed her husband in Congress this year. Last month, voters in the Santa Barbara area elected Lois Capps to fill out the term of her husband, Walter Capps, who died of a heart attack in October.
Also Tuesday, voters in Alameda County, in the northern part of the state, chose a former chief of staff to Rep. Ron Dellums, a Democrat who retired in February after more than 27 years in Congress, to succeed him.
With all 485 precincts reporting, Democratic state Sen. Barbara Lee, 53, had 31,025 votes, or 67 percent of the vote, to beat three rivals. Lee and Bono both got the majority of the vote needed to avoid a runoff.
Dellums, a liberal Democrat whose politics were rooted in the anti-war protests of the '60s, said he was quitting Congress to spend more time with his family.
Bono, 36, decided to run for her husband's seat at the urging of GOP leaders and her family - except her mother-in-law, who publicly chastised her for seeking office while raising two young children.