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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 19, 2013 | By Patrick McGreevy
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.
ARTICLES BY DATE
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 22, 2014 | By Patrick McGreevy
SACRAMENTO -- Alarmed by the cost of holding special elections whenever a vacancy occurs in the Legislature, a state panel on Tuesday endorsed putting a measure before voters that would allow the governor to appoint people to fill empty seats. Los Angeles County has held 20 special elections since 2008 at a cost of $27 million, County Clerk Dean Logan told the Senate Elections and Constitutional Amendments Committee. Turnout in many special elections is as low as 12%. Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg (D-Sacramento)
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 18, 1998
Re the school bond / tax increase special election in Moorpark and Thousand Oaks. I believe it's about time we put an end to the unnecessary waste of time and expense for special elections. We have elections scheduled regularly and should adhere to that, unless those opting for the election are also willing to pay the bill for it themselves and ensure (again at their expense) that everyone knows about it to enable a fair voter turnout. STEVE KRAMPACH Thousand Oaks
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 25, 2014 | By Patrick McGreevy
Voters go to the polls Tuesday in a special election to fill a vacant seat in the state Senate  representing an Inland Empire district. Five candidates are competing in Tuesday's 23rd District primary contest to fill the seat vacated by the abrupt resignation of Sen. Bill Emmerson (R-Redlands). The race features two Republican candidates: Assemblyman Mike Morrell of Rancho Cucamonga and San Jacinto Mayor Pro Tem Crystal Ruiz. Democrats running in the race are educator/author Ronald J. O'Donnell of Highland and government consultant Ameenah Fuller of Rancho Cucamonga, while Calimesa City Councilman Jeff Hewitt is a Libertarian candidate.
OPINION
April 3, 2013 | By Gary K. Hart
California needs to change the way it fills state legislative vacancies. Current law requires a special election that often creates a chaotic, costly and time-consuming process of legislative musical chairs. The state soon will have had half a dozen legislative special elections this year, and easily could have at least another half-dozen to fill vacancies later this year. Why so many legislative vacancies that trigger special elections? First, term limits. Termed-out legislators often leave old jobs early for new elected positions.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 16, 2011 | By Jean Merl, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
Republican Sharon Runner of Lancaster and Democrat Ted Lieu of Torrance handily won two widely watched special elections Tuesday, avoiding the need for April 19 runoffs. The elections were the first to be held under the state's new balloting system, in which voters choose among all candidates in a primary and the top two vote-getters, not the top finisher from each party as previously, compete in a runoff. Because these were special primaries and both candidates won majorities, there will be no runoffs.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 9, 2009 | Jean Merl
Mark Ridley-Thomas' election to the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors last fall already has spawned three special elections for legislative seats. And there will be a fourth if none of the six candidates on the Sept. 1 ballot for the 51st Assembly District can muster a majority. The field consists of five Democrats -- two members of city councils, a water board member who formerly served on a local school board, a 20-year-old making his first bid for elected office and a perennial candidate.
NEWS
December 31, 1992 | From Times Staff and Wire Reports
Gov. Pete Wilson scheduled special elections on March 2 in portions of Northern, Central and Southern California to fill three empty legislative seats. Voters will fill vacancies left by the resignations of Sen. Barry Keene (D-Ukiah) and Assemblyman Bruce Bronzan (D-Fresno) and by Sen. Don Rogers' move to a new district. Rogers (R-Tehachapi) won a vacant seat in the Nov. 3 election to avoid having to seek reelection in 1994 in a district made heavily Democratic by reapportionment.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 4, 1993 | ERIC BAILEY, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Earlier this year, the price of democracy in Orange County was $231,000. That's how much it cost the county to hold a special election to fill the Garden Grove-based state Senate seat vacated when Ed Royce jumped up to Congress. But now Orange County may get a reprieve on that bill--as well as the cost of putting on special elections for years to come.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 3, 1990 | CARLOS V. LOZANO
The Ventura County Board of Supervisors has given the city of Moorpark permission to hold a special election March 5 to fill a seat on the City Council. The seat was left vacant when former Councilman Paul Lawrason was elected mayor in the Nov. 6 election. Lawrason had two years remaining on his council term. The council voted recently not to appoint an interim member to fill the fifth seat, saying it was better left to the voters.
NEWS
March 11, 2014 | By David Lauter
WASHINGTON -- After a deluge of television ads, robocalls and mailers fueled by more than $12 million in campaign spending, only one thing is certain about today's special congressional election in Florida: The results will be over-interpreted. Public polls have shown Democratic candidate Alex Sink clinging to a very small lead over Republican David Jolly. But as of Monday, with more than 125,000 mail-in ballots and early votes cast - probably 60% to 70% of the total vote - registered Republicans have outnumbered registered Democrats by a little more than 5,000 voters.
NATIONAL
March 11, 2014 | By David Lauter
Republicans scored a significant victory in a special congressional election Tuesday, holding on to a seat in a swing district in Florida that Democrats had high hopes of capturing after a campaign that focused heavily on President Obama's healthcare law. With all precincts reporting, Republican David Jolly held a 3,400-vote margin over Democrat Alex Sink in the district, which stretches along the Gulf Coast north of St. Petersburg. The returns remain unofficial until final mail-in and provisional ballots can be counted, but Sink conceded defeat in a statement to supporters shortly after the polls closed.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 18, 2014 | By Howard Blume
A June special election to replace former Los Angeles school board member Marguerite Poindexter LaMotte has the potential to alter the political power dynamic and the overall direction of the nation's second-largest school district. LaMotte, who died in December, was close to the teachers union and was a critic of L.A. schools Supt. John Deasy. Although she rarely played an influential role on the seven-member board, her replacement has the opportunity to do so. A vigorous and strategic successor - aligned ideologically with LaMotte's views - would pose a hurdle to Deasy.
OPINION
December 16, 2013 | By David Tokofsky and Jackie Goldberg
There has been great consternation in recent days over the best way to select an interim school board member to complete the term of Marguerite Poindexter LaMotte, who died this month. The two of us, both former school board members, believe that LaMotte's former constituents would be best served if the board appointed a replacement for the remaining 18 months of her term rather than holding a special election. One reason is the substantial length of time that LaMotte's district would be without representation while waiting for an election to take place.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 13, 2013 | By Howard Blume
Three of six Los Angeles school board members said they favor a special election to replace Marguerite Poindexter LaMotte, who died last week. The Board of Education is scheduled to decide Tuesday how they will fill a vacancy created by the passing of LaMotte, 80, who was found unresponsive in her hotel room while representing the school system at a conference in San Diego. The board has two choices, according to the L.A. city charter, under which the school system operates. It can appoint a replacement or call a special election.
OPINION
December 10, 2013 | By The Times editorial board
The Los Angeles Unified school board has barely had time to mourn the loss of Marguerite Poindexter LaMotte; now it must decide how best to fill her seat. LaMotte, a school board member since 2003, died last week at an education conference in San Diego. Under the law, the board may pick someone to represent her district until the next scheduled election in June 2015. Or it may hold a special election sooner than that. The first way would be faster and more efficient, while the second would cost several million dollars.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 18, 2001 | From Times Staff Reports
Emergency ethics rules imposed by the Los Angeles City Council for last month's municipal elections were extended Tuesday to upcoming elections to fill two council vacancies. The rules require political parties, unions and other organizations that spend more than $10,000 to support or oppose city candidates to disclose their actions to the city Ethics Commission at least seven days before the election.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 5, 2001 | From Associated Press
Special primary elections will be held April 10 to fill the congressional vacancy created by the death of U.S. Rep. Julian Dixon and March 6 to fill the state Senate seat that opened when Hilda Solis was elected to Congress. Gov. Gray Davis ordered the elections Thursday in the 32nd Congressional District and the 24th state Senate District. All candidates will appear on all ballots in the primaries, regardless of party.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 6, 2013 | By Howard Blume
The death this week of Los Angeles school board member Marguerite Poindexter LaMotte will have immediate pragmatic and political implications for L.A. Unified, including the challenge of how to fill her vacant seat. The veteran board member was found unresponsive in her San Diego hotel room and pronounced dead Thursday. She had been attending an education conference. LaMotte, 80, was the longest-serving member on the current seven-person body, having won elections in 2003, 2007 and 2011.
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