Gov. Brown calls Dec. 9 special election to fill Rod Wright’s Senate seat

Democratic state Sen. Roderick D. Wright is shown at his sentencing hearing Sept. 12 before he resigned. On Friday, the governor called a special election to fill the vacant seat.
(Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times)

Gov. Jerry Brown on Friday called a special election to fill a vacancy caused when state Sen. Roderick Wright resigned Monday to face a 90-day jail sentence for lying about living in his district.

The special primary election for the 35th Senate District will be held Dec. 9. If no candidate wins 50% of the vote plus one, a runoff election will be held Feb. 10.

Three candidates have already emerged for the contest: Assemblyman Isadore Hall III (D-Compton), Assemblyman Steven Bradford (D-Gardena) and perennial runner-up candidate Merv Evans, a Democrat who received 27% of the vote in his last challenge to Bradford.


The election will allow the winner to serve the remaining two years of Wright’s four-year term, which was interrupted when a jury found him guilty of eight felonies including perjury and voter fraud for lying about living in the district in Inglewood when he was really residing in an upscale neighborhood of Baldwin Hills.

The district includes the communities of Carson, Compton, West Compton, Gardena, Harbor City, Hawthorne, Inglewood, Lawndale, Lennox, Long Beach, Los Angeles, San Pedro, Torrance, West Carson, Watts, Willowbrook and Wilmington.

Special elections are expensive. A special primary election held in March 2013 for Senate District 32 cost $483,240, according to the Los Angeles County Registrar of Voters Office.