Despite mailers recently sent to voters, Steve Baird — listed as a Democrat on the special primary ballot but a longtime Republican — is not running for the State Senate District 1 seat.
Baird dropped out of the race in February, after ballots were already certified. The special primary election is Tuesday.
The mailers, paid for by “Taxfighters for Brian Dahle for State Senate 2019,” state that Baird is the “clear” choice for Democrats.
The only Democrat actively running for the District 1 seat is Silke Pflueger, a businesswoman and former engineer who co-founded an activist group called Tahoe Truckee Indivisible.
“This mailer was designed to deceive voters and have them throw their vote away by voting for a candidate that has dropped out of the race,” Pflueger wrote in a Facebook post Saturday.
The advertisement was sponsored by the California Correctional Peace Officers Association and the California Association of Realtors, which have donated $85,000 and $150,000 respectively to the Taxfighters committee.
The other four candidates are all Republicans: Assemblyman Dahle of Bieber, Placerville resident Theodore Dziuba, Loomis resident Rex Hime and Assemblyman Kevin Kiley of Rocklin
Baird switched his party preference to Democrat in 2017, according to state election records. He ran as a Republican against Gaines during the 2016 primary and has supported conservative movements such as the creation of the “State of Jefferson” out of Northern California counties.
The state senate seat represents most of California’s northeast, including Alpine, El Dorado, Lassen, Modoc, Nevada, Plumas, Shasta, Sierra and Siskiyou counties, and parts of Placer and Sacramento counties.
Republican state Sen. Ted Gaines vacated the seat when he won a seat on the state Board of Equalization in November.