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Inland Empire voters go to polls for state Senate special election

Voters go to the polls Tuesday in a special election to fill a vacant seat in the state Senate  representing an Inland Empire district.

Five candidates are competing in Tuesday's 23rd District primary contest to fill the seat vacated by the abrupt resignation of Sen. Bill Emmerson (R-Redlands).

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The race features two Republican candidates: Assemblyman Mike Morrell of Rancho Cucamonga and San Jacinto Mayor Pro Tem Crystal Ruiz.

Democrats running in the race are educator/author Ronald J. O'Donnell of Highland and government consultant Ameenah Fuller of Rancho Cucamonga, while Calimesa City Councilman Jeff Hewitt is a Libertarian candidate.

The district includes parts of San Bernardino, Riverside and Los Angeles counties and its voter registration is 34% Democratic, 40.8% Republican.

If no candidate wins a majority of the vote in the primary, the top two vote-getters, regardless of party, will face-off in a June 3 runoff.

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