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Ron Calderon's decision could add costs, complications to election

SACRAMENTO -- State Sen. Ronald S. Calderon (D-Montebello) is under pressure from colleagues to resign, but the timing of any such action could play havoc with this year’s election and its costs, officials say.

Senate leader Darrell Steinberg (D-Sacramento) has given Calderon until March 3 to resign or take a leave of absence in response to his recent indictment on 24 counts involving the alleged acceptance of nearly $100,000 in bribes.

If Calderon does not do one or the other by Monday, he could face a Senate vote suspending him from office.

Calderon represents the 30th Senate District but is prevented by term limits from running for reelection this year in the redrawn district which has been renumbered as the 32nd District.

The deadline is March 7 for candidates to file to run for the redrawn district.

But if Calderon were to resign or be expelled before then, the governor would have to call a special election to fill out the remaining few months of his term in the old 30th District. That special election would be held concurrently with the normal election to fill the new 32ndDistrict seat for another four years.

“We’d be running two elections, one in a district that won’t exist after this year,” said Efrain Escobedo, governmental and legislative affairs division manager for the Los Angeles County registrar-recorder/county clerk.

He estimated it would cost taxpayers an extra $2 million to hold a special election.

The winning candidate in the special election would serve only the few months between the time that the special election is settled and the term ends.

That question will be moot if Calderon refuses to resign and is instead suspended or takes a leave of absence.

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patrick.mcgreevy@latimes.com

Copyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times
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