Republican Beth Gaines edged GOP rival John Allard on Tuesday to make the runoff against Democrat Dennis Campanale in the crowded race for the 4th Assembly District.
Campanale, the lone Democrat in an eight-candidate field, took the top spot with 31.8 percent of the vote. Gaines edged Allard by 667 votes -- 22.5 percent to 21.5 percent -- for the second slot in the May 3 runoff. She will be the favorite in a heavily Republican district that includes Alpine County and parts of Sacramento, Placer and El Dorado counties.
Gaines seeks to replace her husband, Ted Gaines, who was elected to the Senate in January. Campanale, a retired firefighter, spent virtually nothing in the race, while Allard, a Roseville city councilman, and Gaines waged six-figure campaigns.
Other Republicans on the ballot in Tuesday's special election were Bo Ambrozewicz, Cheryl Bly-Chester, Rob Matthews, Mike O'Connor and Matt Williams.
Editor's note: This post was updated to reflect that the district includes all of Alpine County, not Amador County. Updated at 9:47 a.m. March 9, 2011.