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Padilla.JPGDemocratic State Sen. Alex Padilla and Republican think tank administrator Pete Peterson will advance to the general election, having topped an eight-candidate field in the race to replace Debra Bowen as secretary of state, according to early returns.

The Associated Press called the race for Padilla and Peterson. Both have about 30 percent of the vote, far ahead of Sen. Leland Yee, a San Francisco senator who was suspended after his indictment on federal conspiracy and corruption charges. Former FPPC chairman Dan Schnur is running fourth.

Yee had about 11 percent and Schnur had 9 percent of the vote.

Editor's note: This post was updated at 9 p.m. with the Associated Press call.

PHOTO: Senator Alex Padilla, D-Los Angeles, listens to floor debate on the budget plan before the Senate votes on the plan. Photo taken Wednesday Feb. 18, 2009. The Sacramento Bee/Brian Baer.


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