"There was an election today?" said Glendale resident Alfonso Bailey, a registered voter. "I had no idea."
As of press time, Gatto held the lead over his rival, Republican Sunder Ramani, in a race that kept some politicos on edge due to strong voter sentiment slanted toward change.
"It was a very long, bruising and confusing campaign season. I'm sort of prepared to start doing the work in Sacramento," Gatto said as he was surrounded by more than 100 supporters at his Burbank campaign party.
Gatto was the top vote-getter out of a field of three Democrats in April's special primary election, but did not meet the 50% threshold needed to win the seat outright. Still, the district's historic Democratic bent made him the favorite leading up to Tuesday's race.
This race, though, had the element of change to keep some politicos on edge. But some Democrats on Tuesday said they had even switched parties at the polls.
"I'm voting anti-Democrat this time," said Glendale resident Walt Gregory, adding that he had become disenchanted with the Democratic Party. "I don't know anything about Ramani other than his party."
Early in the night, Ramani supporters who gathered at Notte Luna restaurant in Glendale were energetic as they waited for the vote tallies to come in.
Throughout the campaign, Ramani keyed in on the excitement and support he had been able to generate in an overwhelmingly blue district.
About 47% of district voters are registered Democrats, 25% are Republicans, and 23% have declined to state a party affiliation.
Online For full election results, visit burbankleader.com