Dems Lead in Early Vote in California Special Election

LOS ANGELES (CN) – A community college trustee is one of the clear winners in a trio of special elections in Southern California to fill state Assembly seats.

Democrat Sydney Kamlager won over 68 percent of the vote in a race for the Assembly seat left vacant by Sebastian Ridley-Thomas, who stepped down last year due to health reasons.

The Secretary of State’s office called the race for Kamlager late Tuesday after she nabbed 17,094 votes to represent West Los Angeles. Turnout for the special election was meager in a district with over 300,000 registered voters, according to the Secretary of State.

Two other races will likely be decided in the June primaries, with Los Angeles Public Works Commissioner and Democrat Luz Rivas and Republican Ricardo Benitez facing off for the District 39 seat.

The race for District 45’s Assembly seat will also be determined in a June runoff between constitutional rights attorney and Democrat Jesse Gabriel and Republican university student Justin Clark, who were separated by a few thousand votes Wednesday.

The vote count will not be finalized until next week but is unlikely to shift enough to change the result, according to the election’s office.

Democrats Raul Bocanegra, Matt Dababneh, and Sebastian Ridley-Thomas left their state assembly seats last year. Bocanegra was accused by a staffer of “inappropriate and unwelcome physical contact,” according to the Los Angeles Times.

Various women said Bocanegra kissed and groped them without their consent. Before he stepped down from office Bocanegra, the majority whip, requested a committee conduct a formal investigation into the allegations, but according to a February 2018 letter from the state assembly’s human resources director he rescinded that request.


Dababneh resigned after an alleged incident in a Las Vegas bathroom with a lobbyist. Despite stepping down from office he denies the allegation.







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