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Sen. Joel Anderson has large lead in Board of Equalization race

Sen. Joel Anderson has large lead in Board of Equalization race
Speaking in Sacramento in January 2017, California State Sen. Joel Anderson, R-El Cajon, address the Senate. (Rich Pedroncelli / Associated Press)

State Sen. Joel Anderson took a large lead for the Board of Equalization’s 4th District in unofficial results as of Wednesday from nearly 96 percent of the precincts counted.

With 31.5 percent was well ahead of the other challengers who were neck-and-neck for second place.

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Democrat Mike Schaefer, a former San Diego City Council member, was in second behind Anderson, R-El Cajon with 17.2 percent. Republican John Kelly was very close behind with 17.2 percent. The district includes San Diego, Imperial, Orange and Riverside counties as well as a portion of San Bernardino County.

The seat is currently held by Diane Harkey, R-Dana Point, who is running for the House of Representatives in the 49th Congressional District. Early returns had her in the lead in that race.

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In June state lawmakers voted to overhaul the board, stripping it of much of its power and transferring many of its employees to new departments after a series of audits revealed mismanagement within the agency. The board was previously responsible for a series of tax programs as well as a sort of tax court to resolve disputes with taxpayers.

The District 4 race includes seven candidates, including four Republicans and three Democrats. Two of the contenders are board employees.

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