Two down, one to go

By Michael Shaw

Capitol Update, March 20, 2015 Share this on FacebookTweet thisEmail this to a friend

On Tuesday, March 17th, three special elections took place to fill three vacant State Senate seats resulting from mid-term Senators being elected to Congress. 
The most high profile of the three races, SD 7, is the only one proceeding to a runoff with Assembly Member Susan Bonilla (AD 14) taking on Orinda Mayor Steve Glazer in what will be the battle royale between business and labor. This race is largely a repeat of the 16th Assembly District race from last year where Republican Assembly Member Catherine Baker defeated Democrat Tim Sbranti. The only Republican in SD 7 pulled out earlier in the race (not soon enough to avoid being on the ballot) and endorsed Glazer, but still received 17 percent of the vote. Glazer received significant support from business-related independent expenditures while labor sought to undermine Glazer in favor of either Bonilla or Buchanan. Needless to say, the next 60 days will see a lot of money spent and mud slung in this race. Rumors are that labor plans to spend around $2 million to put Bonilla over the top as they have major issues with Glazer over his opposition to BART strikes and prior work with JobsPAC (CMTA co-founded business PAC) as a Democratic consultant.
It is expected that Senators-elect Sharon Runner (SD 21) and John Moorlach (SD 37) will assume office within the next week. Senator-elect Moorlach defeated two candidates including current Assm. Don Wagner and topped 50 percent negating the need for a runoff in May. Moorlach helped lead Orange County out of bankruptcy in the mid-1990s as Treasurer-Tax Collector and later served as County Supervisor. Senator-elect Runner, being the only candidate in the race, cruised to victory and returns to Sacramento after a hiatus following her time in the Assembly.
Depending on the result of SD 7 (Bonilla v. Glazer), there may yet be another special election this year to fill Assm. Bonilla’s unexpired Assembly seat should she move over to the Senate, so this constant state of election-itis may not be done.
SD 7- Contra Costa/Alameda (Runoff May 19th)
Susan Bonilla- D               24.9%
Joan Buchanan-D             22.6%
Steve Glazer-D                  32.8%
Terry Kremin-D                 2.8%
Michaela M. Hertle-R     17.0%
SD 21- Los Angeles/San Bernardino (No Runoff Needed)
Sharon Runner-R             100%
No other candidates
SD 37- Orange County (No Runoff Needed)
John M. W. Moorlach    51.4%
Naz Namazi                       3.5%
Donald P. Wagner           45.1%
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