Brian Dahle wins race for California Senate District 1 |

Brian Dahle wins race for California Senate District 1

Grass Valley's Robin Tala places his ballot into the drop box during voting at the Gold Miners Inn Tuesday morning. One of three Nevada County voting locations for the Senate District 1 special election.
The Union

Brian Dahle has emerged the victor in a race between two Republican assemblyman to fill California’s Senate District 1 seat.

With 100% of precincts reporting as of Wednesday afternoon, Dahle held an insurmountable lead over Kevin Kiley, with 71,079 votes to Kiley’s 62,448, or 53.2% to 46.8%.

While results may still change slightly as vote-by-mail ballots, provisional ballots and others are processed, the shift is not enough to change the outcome of the election — a fact Kiley noted in conceding to Dahle.

“Today’s election did not go our way,” Kiley wrote on his Facebook page hours after the polls closed. “Although some ballots remain to be counted, it’s not enough to overcome our current deficit of 53 percent to 47 percent. Congratulations to Senator-elect Brian Dahle. I wish him the best in his new position.”

California’s sprawling Senate District 1 includes parts or all of Alpine, El Dorado, Lassen, Modoc, Nevada, Placer, Plumas, Sacramento, Shasta, Siskiyou and Sierra counties.

In El Dorado County, Tuesday night voter totals showed voters put their support behind Kiley, with 15,715 votes (55.65%) compared to Dahle’s 12,525 votes (44.35%). Those numbers put turnout in the county at 23.62%.

While thanking his family, staff and supporters, Dahle said he is excited to start his new role in state government.

“I am humbled by the outpouring of support as I have run for the state Senate,” he wrote on Facebook the day after the election. “I look forward to making a difference as I continue in a new role. Thank you again.”

Both Dahle and Kiley have served in the California General Assembly as Republicans.

Under California’s primary system, the top two vote-getters in a primary compete against each other in the general election, regardless of party.

It was a nasty intraparty struggle as both candidates sought to position themselves as the most reliably conservative choice in a state where Democrats control all the levers of power at the state level.

Their campaigns each spent more than $1 million, and the candidates sparred over attack ads. But the two campaigned on many of the same issues, such as opposing new taxes as well as so-called sanctuary city policies for immigrants in the country illegally.

Dahle, a former Republican Assembly leader, had the backing of prominent groups like real estate agents, peace officers and prison guards. Kiley’s supporters included backers of charter schools.

Dahle will fill a vacancy left by former Sen. Ted Gaines, a Republican who won a seat on the California State Board of Equalization last year.

While Kiley keeps his Assembly seat, another special election will be held to replace Dahle in the Assembly. Republicans are likely to hold the seat, which includes the northwest corner of Lake Tahoe.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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