After the final tally came in on Friday, Assembly member Sam Blakeslee did not manage to cross the 50 percent threshold that would have given him the District 15 Senate Seat. Former-Assembly member John Laird will face him, along with Jim Fitzgerald and Mark Hinkle, in an August 15 runoff.
John Laird (Dem) 41.73% 61,150
Sam Blakeslee (Rep) 49.49% 72,518
As has been the case with several local elections, the final results of the June 22 Senate District 15 special election are on hold while registrar workers sift through the remaining ballots, estimated Wednesday to be at about 17,000. At the moment, it appears that Republican Assembly member Sam Blakeslee and Democratic former-Assembly member John Laird will be heading to an August run-off. However, should the provisional and mail-in ballots fall heavily into the Blakeslee column, he could bump up to over 50 percent and avoid the hassle altogether. As of Thursday morning, Blakeslee held 49.7 percent of the vote and Laird had 41.34 percent in an election that, in Santa Clara County, brought out a measly 25 percent turnout. Independent Jim Fitzgerald took 6.02 percent and Libertarian candidate Mark Hinkle won 2.93 percent of the pie.
The two candidates carried the parts of the long, weirdly shaped district as expected – Laird prevailed in Santa Cruz and Monterey counties by wide margins, while Blakeslee took San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara. The part of Santa Clara County in District 15 – including bits of Los Gatos, Almaden, Saratoga and Monte Sereno – considered to be a bit of a swing district, ultimately swung slightly for Blakeslee. Laird picked up 44.68 percent of the votes to Blakeslee’s 46.19 percent.
Should the August 18 run-off proceed, all four candidates will appear on the ballot. Sacramento will be watching the race closely, as a win for Laird means the Democrats would be a single vote away from a supermajority in the State Senate.