Capitol Alert

Three’s company in fall finale for California Assembly seat

Autumn Burke discusses her childhood Ebony cover

Assemblywoman Autumn Burke, D-Marina Del Rey, talks about the world her mother wanted for her and the world she, in turn, wants for her daughter in this video from April 2015.
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Assemblywoman Autumn Burke, D-Marina Del Rey, talks about the world her mother wanted for her and the world she, in turn, wants for her daughter in this video from April 2015.

Call it the top-two-tie scenario: a provision in California election law allows for more than two candidates to advance to the general election if there’s a tie.

And finally, after some 500 elections under top-two rules, a fall contest will include three contenders.

Write-in candidates Baron Bruno, a Libertarian from Marina del Rey, and Republican Marco Antonio “Tony” Leal, a Republican from Los Angeles, each received exactly 64 votes in last month’s primary election in the 62nd Assembly District, final results show.

Bruno and Leal will appear on the Nov. 8 ballot alongside first-place finisher – and heavy fall favorite – Assemblywoman Autumn Burke, D-Marina del Rey, who pulled in 99.9 percent of the vote last month. Democrats hold a nearly 5-to-1 registration advantage in the 62nd.

For decades, the top primary finishers from each party advanced to the general election. California voters approved the top-two system in June 2010, more than a year after the constitutional amendment was part of a budget deal to close a $40 billion budget shortfall.

Some top-two finishes have been decided by the narrowest of margins. In the 2014 primary for state controller, only 481 votes – out of more than 4 million cast – separated second-place finisher Betty Yee and third-place finisher John A. Pérez, both Democrats.

But there’s never been a tie, and California law specifically prohibits a random drawing to settle the matter.

Use the interactive list below to see the top finishers in the June 7 election and their share of the vote.

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