Summary of the 2019 Special Election for California Senate District 1

Because of California’s top two-primary and because long-time Republican Steven Baird re-registered as a Democrat to throw the election and then drop out, preventing endorsed Democratic candidate Silke Pfleuger from moving on,  California’s Senate District 1 went to a general special election with two Republicans on the ballot: Brian Dahle and Kevin Kiley.

Brian Dahle prevailed for the North State.  A Special Election for California Assembly District 1 will be set after swearing in.

The Los Angeles Time reported on June 5th 2019 in an article written by Phil Willon titled In Two California Senate Special Elections, Gonzalez and Dahle are the Winners:

“The race in Northern California’s 1st Senate District pitted two Republican assemblymen against each other: Dahle of Bieber and Kevin Kiley of Rocklin. The sprawling district encompasses the northeast corner of California, from the Sacramento suburbs to the Oregon border, and has the highest Republican voter registration of any Senate district in the state.

“Dahle led by just over 6 percentage points with likely thousands of ballots left to be counted, including vote-by-mail ballots that were dropped in mailboxes Tuesday and were still on their way to elections offices.

Still, the margin was great enough for Kiley to concede the race late Tuesday night.

“Today’s election did not go our way,” Kiley said in a statement. “Although some ballots remain to be counted, it’s not enough to overcome our current deficit of 53% to 47%. Congratulations to Sen.-elect Brian Dahle. I wish him the best in his new position.”

“Kiley will continue serving in the Assembly.

“That race became an increasingly bitter contest, with the GOP candidates flooding voters’ mailboxes with campaign attack mailers.

“On the face, they’re pretty similar in terms of their conservative credentials, but certainly the race had gotten a lot more contentious than a lot of people expected,” said Phil Escamilla, public policy professor at William Jessup University in Rocklin.

“Dahle, who previously served as Assembly Republican leader, sent voters a mailer questing Kiley’s conservative credentials by calling him a “former Kamala Harris staffer.” The mailer included a picture of Kiley with Harris, a Democratic U.S. senator and current presidential candidate.

“Kiley criticized the mailer as dishonest, saying that the picture was doctored and that he never met Harris in person. Kiley worked as a deputy attorney general while Harris was California attorney general, but he was a staff attorney and not a political appointee.

“The desperation you’ve seen from Brian raises questions about why he’s willing to exceed all boundaries of fair play just to run for this seat,” Kiley told the Sacramento Bee in April.

“Kiley, in turn, sent out campaign mailers accusing Dahle of benefiting from more than $414,000 in “dark money” campaign spending from Pacific Gas & Electric Co., the mammoth Northern California utility blamed for the deadly wildfire that destroyed most of the town of Paradise. Prominently displayed on the mailer was a picture of Dahle posing with President Trump.

“Escamilla said Kiley was probably trying to attract support from Democrats in the district “who don’t have a favorable impression of Trump.”

“Both candidates hauled in substantial campaign funds — Dahle raised $1.1 million and Kiley $870,000.

“The race was also a magnet for outside spending, the vast majority on Dahle’s behalf.

“An independent expenditure committee called Taxfighters for Brian Dahle, funded by the prison guards union and other interest groups, spent more than $500,000 supporting the candidate.

“A special election will be scheduled to fill Dahle’s Assembly seat once the election results are certified and he resigns from the Assembly. Long Beach also will hold a special election to fill Gonzalez’s City Council seat after her election is certified and she joins the state Senate.”

Read full article here.

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