Mark Hinkle, national chairman of the Libertarian Party, is a candidate in a special election to fill a vacancy in the California State Senate. The election was yesterday, and the San Jose Mercury News reports:
Runoff appears likely in 15th District Senate race
The race for the seat of former Sen. Abel Maldonado appears headed to an August runoff, prolonging what has been a costly and often fierce battle between Republican Sam Blakeslee and Democrat John Laird.
Blakeslee, an assemblyman from San Luis Obispo, had an 8.5 percentage-point edge over Laird, the former Santa Cruz assemblyman, capturing 49.7 percent of the vote in Tuesday’s special election. But the preliminary count left Blakeslee hundreds of votes shy of the majority, 50 percent plus one vote, needed to outright win the Senate race.
An untold number of mail-in and provisional ballots still need to be counted, leaving the final outcome uncertain.
A runoff, which would take place Aug. 17, would include the top vote-getters in each party, meaning the race would essentially be a repeat of Tuesday’s affair, including not only Laird and Blakeslee but Libertarian Mark Hinkle and independent Jim Fitzgerald.
In the preliminary vote count, Laird won 41.2 percent of the vote, Fitzgerald 6.1 percent and Hinkle 3.0 percent.