B. T. Collins, Gov. Pete Wilson's handpicked candidate, and retired Marine Corps pilot Mickey Conroy captured easy victories Tuesday to retain two Republicans strongholds in the state Assembly.
The special elections pitted Collins against Libertarian David McCann in the 5th Assembly District, which covers parts of Sacramento and Placer counties. In the 67th District in Orange County, Conroy faced Democrat Greg Ramsay.
An unusually light voter turnout was reported in both races, projected at less than 17% in the 5th District and about 13% in the 67th.
With about 95% of the vote tallied in the 5th Assembly District, Collins led McCann by 62.5% to 37.5%, or 18,826 votes to 11,296 votes. In the 67th District, Conroy led Ramsay by 71.8% to 28.2%, or 11,731 votes to 4,618 votes.
The elections were held to fill seats vacated by Republican incumbents who left in May to go to the state Senate--Tim Leslie in the 5th District and John R. Lewis in the 67th.
The victors are virtually certain to be sworn in as quickly as possible to participate in crucial legislative votes on reapportionment.
The districts are among the most strongly Republican in the Assembly's GOP lineup, and the outcomes were all but decided in July, when Collins and Conroy won their respective Republican primaries.
Collins, a former Green Beret who lost an arm and a leg in Vietnam, served as chief of staff to former Gov. Edmund G. (Jerry) Brown Jr.