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Assemblyman Mike Morrell won an easy election to the state Senate on Tuesday, filling the unexpired term of former state Sen. Bill Emmerson, R-Redlands.

Morrell, R-Rancho Cucamonga, received 62.6 percent of the vote in a five-way special primary election, easily clearing the 50 percent threshold needed to avoid a June 3 runoff, according to semi-official results. His closest rival, Democrat Ronald J. O'Donnell of Highland, received 15.3 percent of the vote.

"The residents of the 23rd Senate District will be in great hands through Mike¹s commitment to public service," Senate GOP Leader Bob Huff said in a statement.

The 23rd Senate Districts large parts of Riverside and San Bernardino counties and a sliver of Los Angeles County's eastern edge. Since 2010, Morrell has represented an Assembly district that wrapped from Rancho Cucamonga to Redlands.

Emmerson easily won re-election to the redrawn 23rd Senate District in November 2012. He resigned Dec. 1, 2013 and shortly later became a senior vice president for the California Hospital Association.

Morrell barely won re-election in 2012 in the redrawn 40th Assembly District and faced a tough re-election in November. There will not be a special election to fill Morrell's vacancy after he resigns the Assembly because the vacancy will come after the candidate filing date in the final year of Morrell's two-year term.

PHOTO: The campaign website of state Sen.-elect Mike Morrell, R-Rancho Cucamonga.


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