Clair Barnes, Republican candidate for an Assembly seat in the San Pedro-Long Beach area, has died of a heart attack.
Barnes, 68, was stricken at his Long Beach home and died Thursday at Memorial Medical Center, a hospital spokesman said.
Because ballots are already printed and distributed, Barnes' name will remain on the ballot in the 57th Assembly District. If he wins the election, the seat would be declared vacant on the first day of the legislative session and a special election would be scheduled, a spokeswoman for the secretary of state's office said.
Barnes' opponent in Tuesday's election, incumbent Assemblyman Dave Elder (D-Long Beach), said, "I am really still in a bit of shock about it. . . . Even though we were competitors, we talked cordially and frequently at public meetings during these past several months."
A retired aircraft engineer, Barnes was founder of the Salt of the Earth Assn., an organization that encouraged Christians to take part in the political process. He said he had entered the Assembly race to discourage homosexuals from running.
A native of Otis, Colo., Barnes came to California in 1937.