(AP) — Voters in two California Senate districts will head back to the polls in June to fill vacancies created by last fall's statewide election.
Special primary elections on Tuesday set up June 4 runoff elections to replace Democrat Ricardo Lara, who was elected insurance commissioner, and Republican Ted Gaines, who won a seat on the Board of Equalization.
Republican Assemblymen Brian Dahle of Bieber and Kevin Kiley of Rocklin will likely square off in Gaines' massive old Senate District 1, which stretches from Oregon to south of Lake Tahoe.
The pair nearly tied, setting up the same-party runoff because neither captured the majority needed to win the seat outright. The top two vote-getters advance to the general election regardless of party, under California law, unless one candidate wins more than half the vote.
Dahle had 28.7 percent of the vote and Kiley 28.5 percent, according to preliminary results from the secretary of state.
Democrat Silke Pflueger was third in the six-member field, with 25.8 percent.
Kiley already represents about a third of the Senate district and Dahle nearly half.
Long Beach City Councilwoman Lena Gonzalez is heavily favored to win Lara's old 33rd Senate District seat in southeast Los Angeles County after winning nearly 31 percent of Tuesday's vote in a nine-member field.
She will likely face Republican Cudahy Councilman Jack Guerrero, who came in second with nearly 15 percent of the vote in preliminary results. But 55 percent of voters are registered Democrats, to Republicans' 12 percent.
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