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Voters in the 43rd Assembly District and the 37th Senate District heading to the polls today, won't only be picking among primary challengers.

Both districts feature special election run-offs to fill legislative vacancies.

In the 43rd Assembly District, Democrat Mike Gatto, an attorney and former aide to Democratic Rep. Brad Sherman, is going up against Republican Sunder Ramami, former chairman of the Burbank Chamber of Commerce.

Both are seeking to fill the seat vacated by former Democratic Assemblyman Paul Krekorian, who was elected to the Los Angeles City Council in a December special election.

The special election winner in the heavily Democratic district will fill the remainder of Krekorian's term, which ends in November, so both candidates are also on the primary ballot to run for a full term in the general election.

The 37th Senate District pits GOP Assemblyman Bill Emmerson against Democrat Justin Blake. Matt Monica, a registered American Independent, is also on the ballot. The three are vying to replace former GOP Sen. John Benoit, who stepped down after Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger appointed him to the Riverside County Board of Supervisors. Republicans have a strong registration advantage in the district.



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