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Jack R. Fenton


Picture of Jack R. Fenton
Date Party Office Votes Result
11-03-1964 Democratic AD-51 51327 Win
11-08-1966 Democratic AD-51 37898 Win
11-05-1968 Democratic AD-51 48340 Win
11-03-1970 Democratic AD-51 47269 Win
11-07-1972 Democratic AD-51 59950 Win
11-05-1974 Democratic AD-59 44381 Win
11-02-1976 Democratic AD-59 61384 Win
11-07-1978 Democratic AD-59 44586 Win

Candidate Biography:

Born: August 7, 1916 in Rochester, New York
Married: Betty Byer (in 1945)
Children: Maureen, Mark, Melissa, and Marilyn
Military Service: ARMY (WWII)
Died: November 6, 2007 in Dallas, Texas

1972: Majority Leader, California State Assembly
1979-1980: Member, California Judicial Council
1980: Primary Candidate for AD-59 (Lost; 41.1%)

  • An incumbent who lost their party primary (in 1980).
  • Fenton will likely be remembered for his role leading the investigation of the 1971 Sylmar Tunnel Explosion, the deadliest tunnel explosion in California history. "Fenton's greatest legislative achievement was the passage of laws that improved health and safety conditions for workers and implemented the state plan known as Cal-OSHA." [Source: The LA Times] The explosion, which killed 17 miners in the nearly completed San Fernando Tunnel, resulted from the build-up of methan gas that was ignited by a "mechanical spark" on June 24, 1971. "The explosion also sparked the longest Municipal Court trial in U.S. history, which resulted in the highest municipal fines and some of the greatest civil damage awards of its time. In the end, the 5.5-mile tunnel that was meant to help ferry a billion gallons of state water a year from Sylmar to La Verne was never used." [Source: The Transit Coalition]

Source: California Blue Book (1967), (1971)
Source: "The Judicial Council of California: Membership" by the Judicial Council of California (accessed 5/30/2012)