Capitol Alert

The latest on California politics and government

It's Election Day in the 1st Senate District.

Assemblyman Ted Gaines, R-Roseville, is favored to win the special election run-off. He faces Democrat Ken Cooley, the mayor of Rancho Cordova.

The winner will fill the seat formerly held by late GOP Sen. Dave Cox, who died in July.

The polls in the expansive district, which includes parts of Sacramento and Placer counties, close at 8 p.m., though the bulk of the ballots in the low-turnout election are expected to be cast by mail.

A Gaines win would spark a special election to fill his 4th Assembly District seat.

Roseville City Councilman John Allard, a Republican, has announced his candidacy. Gaines' wife, Republican Beth Gaines, is also considering a run.

Like the upcoming special elections to fill vacancies in the 17th and 28th Senate Districts, the AD4 special would be conducted under the state's new top-two primary rules.

Secretary of State Debra Bowen will conduct a random drawing at 11 a.m. to determine the alphabetical order for candidates on the ballot in the two state Senate specials. Those primaries are scheduled for Feb. 15, with an April 19 run-off on the calendar if no candidate wins more than 50 percent of the vote.

The drawing will follow Bowen's swearing-in ceremony, which is scheduled for 10 a.m. at the Secretary of State Building.

GOVERNOR: Gov. Jerry Brown said yesterday that he would name his top aide today. Brown is opting to call the chief of staff post 'executive secretary,' the term that is used in state law.

CAKES AND CANDLES: Assemblywoman Cathleen Galgiani, D-Livingston, turns 47 and Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones turns 49.


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