Republicans Brian Dahle and Kevin Kiley will likely square off in a June 4 runoff for the state Senate’s 1st District seat after garnering the most votes in the five-person race Tuesday night.
With 100 percent of precincts partially reporting, Republican Assemblyman Brian Dahle of Bieber led all candidates with 28.7 percent of the vote and Republican Assemblyman Kevin Kiley of Rocklin had 28.5 percent.
“I’m excited to be the top vote-getter at this point,” Dahle told The Bee Wednesday. “I was strong in the north, and now I need to be stronger in the south.”
“We’re prepared for a pretty significant race,” said Kiley’s campaign manager Caleb Wood-Peterson. “Obviously the margins are close ... and the general election will be the same.”
Wood-Peterson said that the campaign expects Kiley to pull ahead after the rest of the votes are tallied, particularly in Sacramento County where he leads with about 45 percent of the votes reported.
Democrat Silke Pflueger had 25.8 percent, Republican Rex Hime had 9.1 percent and Republican Theodore Dziuba had 2.1 percent of the vote.
Steve Baird, who dropped out of the race in February after ballots were certified, received 5.8 percent of the vote. A misleading mailer sent to voters, paid for by “Taxfighters for Brian Dahle for State Senate 2019,” stated that Baird is the “clear” choice for Democrats despite withdrawing from the race.
“Obviously there’s a lot of things happening in campaigns (that are) outside my control,” Dahle said, saying he was unaffiliated with the committee that ran the ad.
The state Senate District 1 seat has been held by a Republican for more than 40 years. Former Sen. Ted Gaines, R-El Dorado Hills, vacated the seat in January after he won a seat on the state Board of Equalization in November.
The seat represents about 1 million people, including residents in Alpine, El Dorado, Lassen, Modoc, Nevada, Plumas, Shasta, Sierra, Siskiyou counties and parts of Placer and Sacramento counties. County election offices expect to finish counting votes by April 4.