Rob Matthews, a police officer in Stockton and co-owner of Roseville's Waikiki Dental, has announced that he will seek the seat vacated by former GOP Assemblyman Ted Gaines' election to the state Senate.
Matthews, a self-described political newcomer, said in a statement that he decided to run for office after feeling the effects of "nightmarish bureaucracy and government entanglements involved in the day to day operation of a small business" while running the dental practice he owns with his wife.
At least four other Republicans -- including Beth Gaines, who is married to the former assemblyman -- and one Democrat have announced plans to run in the March 8 special primary election. The contest in the conservative district will be conducted under the new top-two system approved by voters last June. All candidates will appear on the same ballot and the top two vote-getters regardless of party will advance to a May run-off. Under special election rules, a candidate can win outright in March by winning more than 50 percent of the vote.