Two hard-fought Southern California special elections for vacant state legislative seats will be decided in a June 8 runoff, as no candidate in either race won a majority of the vote Tuesday.
In a Glendale-Silver Lake Assembly race, attorney and former legislative aide Mike Gatto of Silver Lake beat two other Democrats and will face Republican businessman Sunder Ramani of Burbank in a runoff to succeed Democrat Paul Krekorian, who was elected to the Los Angeles City Council. Final election night returns in the 43rd District contest showed Gatto with 32% of the vote, and Ramani, the only Republican on the ballot, with almost 32%. Glendale school board member Nayiri Nahabedian finished with 22% and Chahe Keuroghelian, a businessman and former spokesman for the Glendale Police Department, won nearly 14%.
With most of the ballots counted in Riverside County, where seven candidates were vying to replace former GOP state Sen. John Benoit, Assemblyman Bill Emmerson was easily outdistancing former Assemblyman Russ Bogh and teacher David W. Peters to win the Republican nomination in the June runoff. He will face Democrat Justin Blake, an actor, and Matt Monica of the American Independent Party in the 37th state Senate District contest.
Along with the two special elections, several cities and education districts held their regularly scheduled balloting Tuesday. They included Long Beach, where voters in the municipal primary weighed in on candidates for mayor, five City Council seats, city attorney, auditor and clerk, plus three slots each on the school district and community college boards.