Special elections today for three California Senate seats

Special elections today for three California Senate seats
The California Capitol in Sacramento. Special elections for three state Senate seats are being held Tuesday. (RD·Robert Durell / Los Angeles Times)

Voters go to the polls Tuesday to fill three state Senate seats vacated when the incumbents won election to Congress in November.

Former Republican state Sen. Sharon Runner is the only candidate on the ballot in the 21st Senate District, but six people have been certified as write-in candidates to represent a district including parts of Los Angeles and San Bernardino counties.

Runner previously served in the state Assembly and Senate but did not run for reelection in 2012 after she underwent a double-lung transplant to help her overcome a rare autoimmune disease.

The write-in candidates are Democrats Joshua Conaway of Apple Valley, Steve Hill of Palmdale and Richard E. Macias of Lancaster, Republican Jerry J. Laws of Victorville, and no-party-preference candidates Joshua C. Chandler of Quartz Hill and Jason Zink of Palmdale.

Another special election is being held Tuesday for the 37th Senate District seat in Orange County, where the Republican candidates on the ballot are Assemblyman Donald Wagner of Irvine, former Orange County Supervisor John Moorlach of Costa Mesa, and congressional aide Naz Namazi of Irvine.

The one certified write-in candidate is Democrat Louise Stewardson of Huntington Beach.

The third special election is for the 7th Senate District that includes parts of Alameda and Contra Costa counties. The Democratic candidates are Assemblywoman Susan Bonilla of Concord, former Assemblywoman Joan Buchanan of Alamo, Orinda Mayor Steve Glazer and scientist Terry Kremin of Concord. Republican Michaela Hertle is on the ballot but she dropped her campaign and endorsed Glazer.

If no candidate wins a majority in the three races there would be a runoff election on May 19.