Gaines wins Senate seat |

Gaines wins Senate seat

Republican assemblyman and business owner Ted Gaines claimed victory in the First Senate District Special Election Tuesday, winning 63.2 percent of the vote in the two-person run-off race against Democratic challenger Ken Cooley.

Gaines will be sworn-in to the Senate at 9 a.m. Thursday morning.

“I am humbled and grateful for the overwhelming support I received from the voters in the First Senate District,” Gaines said in a Tuesday statement. “It is an honor to represent the area my family first settled in over 150 years ago, and to do so at such a crucial time in our state’s history.”

The special election was needed following the death of Senator Dave Cox in July. California law required a special election to fill the seat. Another election will need to be held to fill the State Assembly District 4 seat Gaines was re-elected to in November.

The vast majority of voters who participated in the special election did so by absentee ballot and Gaines called for election reform for similar circumstances in the future.

“These special elections are a financial burden on counties,” Gaines said. “I plan to introduce legislation to allow counties to conduct Special Elections entirely through the mail, eliminating the need to open polling places and find and pay poll workers for every special election.”

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