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Two California Senate elections set for Tuesday

March 07, 2013|By Patrick McGreevy
  • Olga Korn votes in the Los Angeles city election this week. Voters in two of California's senate districts cast ballots next week.
Olga Korn votes in the Los Angeles city election this week. Voters in two… (Al Seib / Los Angeles Times )

Another round of political musical chairs is on tap Tuesday when voters in two Southern California Senate Districts go to the polls to fill vacancies created when Democratic Sens. Gloria Negrete McLeod of Chino and Juan Vargas of San Diego resigned to take seats in Congress.

Negrete McLeod’s heavily Democratic 32nd District has the biggest crowd of candidates. Democrats in the field are Assemblywoman Norma Torres of Pomona, San Bernardino County Auditor-Controller Larry Walker of Chino, Ontario City Councilman Paul Vincent Avila and Joanne T. Gilbert, a retired teacher from Rialto.

Republicans on the ballot are Ontario Mayor Paul S. Leon and Pomona Planning Commissioner Kenny Noble.

Negrete McLeod has endorsed Walker, but Torres has the support of the California Democratic Party and a big lead in fundraising, having brought in $346,600 during the first two months of the year. Leon raised  $163,700 and Walker took in $81,600 during that period.

In Vargas’ former 40thSenate District,  Democratic candidates include Assemblyman Ben Hueso of San Diego and nurse/author Anna Nevenic of Cathedral City. The two Republicans on the ballot are professor/businesswoman Xanthi Gionis of Chula Vista and businessman Hector Raul Gastelum of Chula Vista. Hueso has Vargas' endorsement and has raised, by far, the most money during the first two months of the year-- $259,900.

In both contests, if one candidate does not win a majority of the vote, a runoff will be held May 14 between the top two vote-getters.

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patrick.mcgreevy@latimes.com

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