Former state Assemblyman Isadore Hall won a special election to replace Democratic state Sen. Rod Wright, who resigned in September after being sentenced for lying about where he lived when he ran for office.
With all precincts reporting Tuesday, Hall, a Democrat from Compton, had 55 percent of the votes. His closest rival in the four-candidate field, Republican businessman James Spencer, had 26 percent.
Turnout was minuscule in the southern Los Angeles County district that is heavily Latino and Democratic -- only about 6 percent. An unknown number of provisional and vote-by-mail ballots remained to be counted but were unlikely to drop Hall below the simple majority needed to avoid a runoff with Spencer in February.
Hall, who served three terms in the Assembly and termed out last month, said he was "excited to continue my work in the Legislature to create real change, to deliver results for local neighborhoods, and to improve the quality of life for folks in my district and across California."
Hall spent about $640,000 on his campaign to complete the final two years of Wright's term, far more than any other candidates He also lined up a raft of endorsements, including those of the California Democratic Party, California Teachers Association and Los Angeles County Federation of Labor, and from a host of elected leaders including Gov. Jerry Brown and Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti.
Wright resigned rather than face possible expulsion after he was sentenced to 90 days in jail on convictions of perjury and voter fraud. He is appealing.
In separate cases earlier this year, two other Democratic state senators pleaded not guilty to federal bribery and corruption charges. Sen. Ron Calderon of Montebello and Sen. Leland Yee of San Francisco are both termed out now.