John Laird

Senate Race Headed for Run-Off

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. Updated

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Lawsuit Seeks to Delay Special Vote in District 15 Senate Race

Former Assembly member John Laird and current Assembly member Sam Blakeslee may have officially announced their candidacies and are preparing for a shotgun wedding-style campaign for recently confirmed Lieutenant Governor Abel Maldonado’s 15th district senate seat – but hooold your horses, cowboys! A lawsuit filed this morning is trying to delay the June 22 special election and names one of the counties in the district, Monterey, as a defendant. The document says the special election ordered by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger last month would put Monterey County in violation of the Voting Rights Act.

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Schwarzenegger Calls for Special Vote to Fill Maldonado’s Senate Seat

Hours after Sen. Abel Maldonado officially became California’s Lieutenant Governor, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger announced that the election to fill his now-vacant Assembly seat will be held in an August special ballot.

Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg (D-Sacramento) called the decision a “bonehead move” that will cost the counties that make up District 15—Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Monterey, Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo—up to $2.5 million. But the real problem seems to be that the late summer timing puts a Democratic candidate at a serious disadvantage. The Dems had hoped to see the vote consolidated with the November general election.

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