Capitol Alert

Jerry Brown sets special elections for three state Senate seats

House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio administers the oath of office to Rep. Mimi Walters, R-Calif., during a ceremonial re-enactment swearing-in ceremony Tuesday, Jan. 6. Walters previously represented Orange County’s 37th Senate District, one of three Senate seats where Gov. Jerry Brown has scheduled special primary elections for March 17.
House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio administers the oath of office to Rep. Mimi Walters, R-Calif., during a ceremonial re-enactment swearing-in ceremony Tuesday, Jan. 6. Walters previously represented Orange County’s 37th Senate District, one of three Senate seats where Gov. Jerry Brown has scheduled special primary elections for March 17. AP

Gov. Jerry Brown has scheduled a round of springtime special elections to fill vacancies created by last week’s departures of three former state senators for Congress.

Voters in the East Bay’s 7th, Orange County’s 37th, and the High Desert’s 21st Senate districts will go to the polls for a special primary ballot March 17. There will be a runoff May 19 in any race where no candidate receives a majority of the vote.

The seats became vacant last week after their former occupants – former state senators Mark DeSaulnier, D-Concord, Mimi Walters, R-Laguna Nigel, and Steve Knight, R-Lancaster, respectively – assumed congressional seats they won in November.

Races for the seats started weeks ago. Former Assembly colleagues Susan Bonilla and Joan Buchanan, both Democrats, have been lining up endorsements in their bids to succeed DeSaulnier in the 7th. Assemblyman Don Wagner, R-Irvine, and former Orange County Supervisor John Moorlach, a Republican, are running for Walters’ former seat.

In Knight’s former district, former state Sen. Sharon Runner, R-Lancaster, has lined up endorsements to return to the upper house.

Call Jim Miller, Bee Capitol Bureau, (916) 326-5521. Follow him on Twitter @jimmiller2.

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