Special primaries on March 26 for California Senate vacancies

On March 26, 2019, special primary elections will be held for California State Senate Districts 1 and 33. If no candidate wins a majority of the vote in the primary, a general election will take place on June 4. Candidates wishing to run in these elections were required to file by January 31.
 
The special election for District 1 was called after Ted Gaines (R) was elected to serve on the California State Board of Equalization in November 2018. Six candidates have filed for the position – two Democrats and four Republicans.
 
In District 33 of the California State Senate, Ricardo Lara (D) vacated the seat after he was elected to serve as the insurance commissioner of California in November 2018. A field of 12 candidates are vying for the seat. Of those candidates, nine are Democrats, two are Republicans, and one is a member of the Green Party.
 
These are the only California state legislative special elections called in 2019 so far. If there is a vacancy in the California State Legislature, the governor must call for a special election within 14 days of the vacancy. No special election can be held if the vacancy happens in an election year and the nominating deadline passes.
 
The California State Senate currently has 28 Democrats, 10 Republicans, and 2 vacancies. California has a Democratic trifecta. A state government trifecta exists when one political party simultaneously holds the governor’s office and both state legislative chambers. Democrats gained a trifecta in California as a result of the 2010 election when they won the governor’s office.
 



About the author

Mandy Gillip

Mandy Gillip is a project director at Ballotpedia and can be reached at mandy.gillip@ballotpedia.org

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