What to Know
- Democrat Luz Maria Rivas will face Republican Ricardo Antonio Benitez June 5 to fill the 39th Assembly District seat
- Democrat Jesse Gabriel will face Republican Justin Clark June 5 to fill the 45th Assembly District seat
- Sydney Kamlager is expected to be sworn in to the Assembly next month after winning the 54th District special election
Voters cast ballots in a Tuesday election expected to determine which candidates will advance to the next round of voting for the three open Assembly seats in Southern California.
If any candidate wins more than half of votes Tuesday, they win outright. Otherwise the top-two finishers in each race advance to a June runoff. Ballots were still being counted late Tuesday night. The election results are expected to be certified April 12, according to Los Angeles County.
Candidates are vying to replace the three male lawmakers who resigned last year. Former Assemblymen Raul Bocanegra and Matt Dababneh quit amid sexual harassment allegations.
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Sebastian Ridley-Thomas left citing health problems.
Their departures could make room for more women in the Legislature, where nearly 80 percent of lawmakers are men.
Almost 800,000 people are registered to vote in the three districts and Democrats outnumber Republicans in all three.
39th Assembly District
Democrat Luz Maria Rivas will face Republican Ricardo Antonio Benitez June 5 to fill the 39th Assembly District seat made vacant by the resignation of Raul Bocanegra.
Rivas, a former Los Angeles public works commissioner, topped the field of six in Tuesday's special election with 41.89 percent of the vote, according to semi-official results released Wednesday by the Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk. Benitez, a contracting business owner and the lone Republican on the ballot, was second with 21.99 percent.
Antonio Sanchez, who was a field director under then-Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, was third with 18.72 percent. Former Assemblywoman Patty Lopez was fourth with 9.89 percent.
Because no candidate received a majority, Rivas will face Benitez June 5 in a general election to fill the final six months of Bocanegra's term.
Bocanegra resigned Nov. 27 after initially saying he would serve out the remainder of his term representing the northeastern San Fernando Valley. He opted to step aside amid rising calls for him to resign because of sexual harassment allegations.
The district includes North Hollywood, Mission Hills, Sylmar, Arleta and Lake View Terrace.
All but one of the candidates on Tuesday's ballot will also be on the June 6 ballot, along with Democrat Bonnie Corwin, seeking spots on the November general election ballot, seeking a full two-year term.
45th Assembly District
Democrat Jesse Gabriel will face Republican Justin Clark June 5 to fill the 45th Assembly District seat made vacant by the resignation of Matt Dababneh.
Gabriel, a constitutional rights attorney and a member of the county Commission on Local Government Services, topped the eight-candidate field in Tuesday's special election with 32 percent of the vote, according to semi-official results released Wednesday by the Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk.
Clark, a 19-year-old Cal State Northridge student who was the lone Republican on the ballot, was second with 26.99 percent. Tricia Robbins Kasson, an aide to City Councilman Bob Blumenfield, was third 16.01 percent.
Former Los Angeles City Councilman Dennis Zine, who dropped out of the race after the deadline to remove his name from the ballot, was fifth with 8.44 percent. He was listed on the ballot as having no party preference.
Because no candidate received more than 50 percent of the vote, the top two finishers will face off June 5.
Gabriel, Clark, Robbins Kasson and four other Democrats who were on the special election ballot will also be on the June 5 primary ballot, seeking spots on the November ballot for a full two-year term.
Registration in the district that includes Encino, Northridge, Reseda, Woodland Hills, Tarzana, Calabasas and Winnetka, is about 49 percent Democrat, according to the Secretary of State's Office.
Dababneh, a Woodland Hills Democrat, resigned at the end of December. He had been accused of sexual misconduct by at least two women, including a female lobbyist who said Dababneh masturbated in front of her during a party in Las Vegas.
Dababneh denied any wrongdoing.
54th Assembly District
Los Angeles Community College District trustee Sydney Kamlager is expected to be sworn in to the Assembly next month after winning the 54th District special election with more than two-thirds of the vote.
Kamlager received 68.93 percent of the vote in the field of four, according to semi-official results released Wednesday by the Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk.
"The voters clearly expressed their desire to choose a demonstrated leader who will fight hard for their interests in Sacramento and who'll work hard to reflect their voice in our state Capitol," said Kamlager, one of three Democrats in the race.
Fellow Democrat Tepring Michelle Piquado, a neuroscientist and professor, was second with 14.4 percent.
Kamlager is also a district director for Sen. Holly Mitchell, D-Los Angeles, and a member of the county Commission on Children and Families. She is expected to be sworn in in early May. The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors is tentatively scheduled to declare the election results official on May 1.
The 54th District includes Culver City, West Los Angeles, Westwood, Ladera Heights, Mar Vista and Windsor Hills.
Tuesday's special election was prompted by the resignation of Sebastian Ridley-Thomas, a son of county Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, in December. The younger Ridley-Thomas said he resigned because he had just undergone his fifth surgery of the year and was facing "persistent health issues."
Kamlager will face Piquado, small business owner Glen Ratcliff, the lone Republican on the special election ballot, and three other Democrats who were not candidates in the special election in the June 5 primary ballot, seeking a spot on the November general election ballot in the race for a full two-year term.