Assemblyman Rudy Bermudez was leading Assemblyman Ron Calderon in early returns Tuesday night in the hotly contested 30th state Senate District Democratic primary. Bermudez, D-Norwalk, and Calderon, D-Montebello, each gave up their own seats two years before they were termed out to run for the seat being vacated by termed-out Sen. Martha Escutia, D-Norwalk. The winner will face Republican Selma Minerd of Whittier. “We’re extremely pleased,” Bermudez said. “We didn’t do an absentee ballot program like our opposition. It’s very satisfying to see the numbers we’re at.” The race had been brewing ever since Bermudez and Calderon were elected to the Assembly in 2002. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORE11 theater productions to see in Southern California this week, Dec. 27-Jan. 2Former Assemblyman Marco Firebaugh of Whittier was expected to be a third Democratic candidate but he died in March. Firebaugh’s supporters split between Bermudez and Calderon. Escutia endorsed Calderon, while state Sen. Gloria Romero, D-Los Angeles, supported Bermudez. The race was expensive. Bermudez outspent Calderon, $767,272 to $691,903. The corrections officers union and attorneys groups spent about $677,000 on behalf of Bermudez, while business groups provided Calderon with $738,000. The campaign was mostly positive. The only exception has been a spat over legislation aiming to crack down on sex offenders. Bermudez claimed the bill – co-authored by Calderon – in one early version would have allowed for the possession of up to 100 pieces of child pornography. Calderon said he never supported that provision and eventually there was nearly zero tolerance. Other issues in the race were crime, education, and health care. About 846,000 people reside in the 30th Senate District, which includes all of Whittier as well as cities and unincorporated territory in the greater Whittier area, Hacienda Heights, plus cities and unincorporated areas in and around East Los Angeles. It is considered a safe district for a Democratic win in November with about 55 percent of the district voters registered as Democrats. [email protected] (562) 698-0955, Ext. 3022160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!