State Senate race for District 1 seat takes shape; 6 candidates running for spot |

State Senate race for District 1 seat takes shape; 6 candidates running for spot

Alan Riquelmy

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. — Six candidates are running for the former state Senate seat of Ted Gaines.

Steve Baird, of Sacramento; and Silke Pflueger, of Truckee, are running as Democrats for the seat. Brian Dahle, of Bieber; Theodore Dziuba, of Placerville; Rex Hime, of Sacramento; and Kevin Kiley, of Rocklin, are running as Republicans.

All six met the filing deadline earlier this month and have formally declared for the District 1 seat.

A special election for the office is scheduled for March 26. The election is needed because Gaines in November won a seat on the California Board of Equalization. He left the state Senate halfway through his term.

If no candidate garners 50 percent plus one vote, the top two vote-getters will advance to a June 4 runoff.

The district includes parts of Nevada, Alpine, El Dorado, Lassen, Modoc, Placer, Plumas, Sacramento, Shasta, Sierra and Siskiyou counties.


A 2016 candidate for the District 1 seat, Baird on his website said that “he basically sucked,” apparently referring to himself. Baird, who calls himself a manager/broker/author, said he ran as a Republican against a Republican incumbent. Now he’s running under the Democratic banner.

Baird’s Top 10 initiatives, listed on his website, include a guaranteed minimum universal income of $50,000 for all, voting rights for everyone living in California and “late term abortions up to and including the 25th year.”


Representing District 1 in the state Assembly, Dahle served on the Lassen County Board of Supervisors for 16 years before joining the Legislature in 2012. He’s currently the Assembly Republican leader, his website states.

Dahle is a farmer and small business owner. As Republican leader he’s opposed making California a sanctuary state and policies that release dangerous prisoners. He also helped protect Second Amendment and property rights, his website states.


Theodore Dziuba is a businessman who founded an e-commerce company that helped small businesses sell online. He serves on the Placerville Planning Commission and is active in El Dorado County Republican politics, his website states.

Dziuba said he wants to build strong Republican parties in every California county. He said ending California’s sanctuary state status is a moral duty, and called himself a supporter of the Second Amendment.


Hime calls himself a lifelong Republican. He’s currently president and CEO of the California Business Properties Association, which represents over 10,000 companies.

On his website Hime lists his professional and business experience. He’s served as assistant to the director for the state Department of Consumer Affairs, and later as executive director of the California State Commission for Economic Development. He’s also been director of the state’s Commission on Agriculture and director of the task force on the rural economy, as well as senior assistant to the Assembly’s minority leader, according to his website.


Kiley has represented District 6 in the state Assembly since his 2016 election. He’s served as a private attorney and deputy attorney general. He owns and operates Ose-Kiley Cattle with former U.S. Congressman Doug Ose, his website states.

Kiley said he’s worked toward expanding parental choice for under-served students, ensuring that ballot measures have impartial descriptions and stopping government double taxation.


Calling herself an immigrant who’s committed to getting America back on track, Pflueger is a business woman and safety advocate. She’s the co-founder and co-chairwoman of Tahoe Truckee Indivisible, her website states.

Pflueger on her website states she wants to provide accessible and affordable health care for all. She also wants to incentivize rural communities to implement renewable energy, make a college degree attainable through low- or no-tuition programs and support LGBTQ rights.

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