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Incumbent Republican Assemblymen Jim Nielsen and Dan Logue formally launched campaigns against each other today for the 12-county state Senate seat that incumbent Doug LaMalfa is vacating.

Nielsen and Logue will butt heads for the predominantly Republican 4th Senate District that winds through Yuba, Butte, Colusa, Glenn, Sutter, Tehama, Trinity, Del Norte, Nevada, Placer, Shasta and Siskiyou counties. The winner will serve the remaining two years in LaMalfa's term.

LaMalfa, R-Richvale, announced last week that he will resign the state Senate seat so that a special election to fill it can be consolidated with the Nov. 6 general election. Gov. Jerry Brown has yet to announce the election date, however.

LaMalfa is running for the congressional seat of Republican Wally Herger and is considered a shoo-in in the heavily GOP district.

Logue's announcement that he will seek LaMalfa's Senate seat means that he will run for two legislative positions in November - the Marysville lawmaker's name already is on the ballot to retain his Assembly post.

If he wins both races, Logue said, he will resign his Assembly seat and a special election will be held.

If he loses the Senate race but gets re-elected as an assemblyman, however, Logue said he will continue serving in his current post.

After Logue finished first in his 3rd District Assembly primary election in June -- when LaMalfa had not yet announced his departure - his name automatically qualified for the November Assembly ballot and cannot be removed.

A similar situation occurred for then-Assemblyman Ted Gaines in November 2010, when he appeared on the general election ballot for his Assembly seat and a special election primary for the state Senate seat that became vacant suddenly upon the death of incumbent Republican Dave Cox of Fair Oaks.

Gaines, now a Rocklin resident, ultimately won both legislative seats. He then resigned from the Assembly and that seat was won by his wife, Beth Gaines, who is running for re-election in November.

Nielsen, of Gerber, opted not to retain his Assembly post this year.

Both Nielsen and Logue have served in the Assembly for four years. Nielsen previously served in the state Senate from 1978-90.

Logue vowed to continue stressing job creation as a lawmaker. "I just feel the need for economic growth in California has been my passion, and the people in the north state have overwhelmingly supported my efforts," he said.

Nielsen, who has served as the Assembly Republican Caucus' point man in fighting the state budget crisis, said in a written statement that he remains concerned about overspending by Democratic lawmakers.

"The first step to restoring common sense to state government is to defeat Jerry Brown's tax increase and cut up the Legislature's credit card," Nielsen said. "The politicians and bureaucrats need to be reminded who is boss."

* Updated to say that the 4th Senate District runs through 12 Northern California counties, not nine.


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