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Special elections for legislative seats set for Tuesday

July 19, 2013|By Patrick McGreevy
  • Voters mark their ballots at a polling place in the Super Suds laundromat in Long Beach.
Voters mark their ballots at a polling place in the Super Suds laundromat… (Don Bartletti / Los Angeles…)

It is down to the wire for two special elections set for Tuesday to fill seats in the Legislature.

The state Democratic and Republican parties are each pouring hundreds of thousands of dollars into campaigns for the runoff election to be held in the 16th Senate District in the Central Valley.

Voters will decide the contest between Republican Andy Vidak and Democrat Leticia Perez after Vidak placed first in the May primary with 49.8% of the vote, barely missing the majority vote needed to win the election outright.

The election is being held to fill a vacancy created when Sen. Michael Rubio abruptly resigned earlier this year to become a government affairs manager for Chevron Corp.

Perez, a member of the Kern County Board of Supervisors, has raised $1.12 million since June 6, the start of the last reporting period. Vidak, a farmer and small-business owner from Hanford, raised $852,000 during the same period.

Since the primary, groups including labor unions have independently spent more than $350,000 on radio, mail and field operations in support of Perez. If she wins, it will add to the Democrats’ bare supermajority in the Senate.

Also Tuesday, a special primary election is scheduled in the Inland Empire's 52ndAssembly District, where a crowded field makes a runoff likely.

Democrats in the race include Ontario City Councilman Paul Vincent Avila; Chino City Councilman and businessman Tom Haughey; Pomona City Councilman and emergency responder Freddie Rodriguez, Pomona school board member and educator Jason A. Rothman; Manuel Saucedo of Ontario, who listed no occupation on the ballot; public information specialist Danielle L. Soto of Pomona; and union organizer Doris Louise Wallace of Pomona.

The ballot also includes Republican business owner Dorothy F. Pineda of Ontario and Ontario Mayor Paul S. Leon, who provided no party preference.

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patrick.mcgreevy@latimes.com

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