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California 1st Senate District seat up for grabs in special primary election

Five candidates are vying for the seat, left vacant after incumbent Sen. Ted Gaines won a seat on the State Board of Equalization.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — A special primary election for California 1st Senate District will be held Tuesday, March 26, to fill the seat vacated by Republican Sen. Ted Gaines.

Gaines, who was elected and re-elected to District 1 in 2012 and 2016, respectively, left the seat after he won a seat on the State Board of Equalization in November 2018.

Six candidates are listed on the ballot for the district; two Democrats and four Republicans.

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The two Democrats are Steven Baird and Silke Pflueger. Although his name will appear on the ballot, Baird withdrew from the race on Feb. 20, 2019, according to The Union. The four Republicans are Brian Dahle, Theodore Dziuba, Rex Hime and Kevin Kiley.

More than 900,000 California residents are represented in the district, which spans nearly all of the state’s northeast corner. Counties represented by the district include Alpine, El Dorado, Lassen, Modoc, Nevada, Plumas, Shasta, Sierra and Siskiyou, as well as portions of Placer and Sacramento counties.

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If one of the five candidates fail to reach at least 50 percent of the vote, a special election will then be held on June 4, 2019, between the top two vote-getters from the primary. If a candidate does get 50 percent of the vote then the results will stand and no special election will be needed.

The elections aren't likely to change the partisan makeup of the Senate, where Democrats hold a two-thirds majority. Republicans hold a 12 percentage point voter registration edge over Democrats in Gaines' former district, while nearly 55 percent of voters in Lara's old district are Democrats.

Tap here for more information on voting, including how to register, voting by mail, assistance in other languages, or just general information.


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