The race to fill the open 1st Senate District seat is headed for a run-off election between Republican Ted Gaines and Democrat Ken Cooley on Jan. 4.
Assemblyman Gaines, R-Roseville, set the pace in Tuesday’s crowded special primary election with 32.3 percent of the vote, beating out fellow Republican candidates Roger Niello and Barbara Alby, who finished with 24.3 and 12.9 percent of the vote, respectively.
Cooley, the mayor of Rancho Cordova, finished in second with 30.5 percent of the vote.
The two will now face off next year to fill the vacant seat left by the late Sen. Dave Cox, who succumbed to prostate cancer in July.
Gaines’ support was especially strong in El Dorado County, as the candidate finished the evening with 39 percent of the vote. Cooley wound up with 30 percent, while Niello and Alby finished third and fourth.
Gaines was also re-elected to the 4th Assembly District, handily beating his two opponents with 58.5 percent of the vote districtwide. Democratic candidate Dennis Campanale took second in the race with 37 percent and Peace and Freedom candidate Daniel Frederick earned 4.5 percent.
Those figures were nearly the exact same in El Dorado County.
If Gaines is elected to the Senate in January, another special election would be held to fill his vacated Assembly seat.
E-mail Jim Ratajczak at [email protected] or call 530-344-5071.