SACRAMENTO, Calif. (Legal Newsline) - With early voting underway, Inland Empire voters are already casting votes for the candidate they want to represent them in Calif. State Senate District 23.
And if it's the size of the candidate's war chest that ultimately decides the election, Mike Morrell, a Republican, may have the advantage, as campaign finance reports show the assemblyman has spent $231,312.04 in campaign contributions in the last three months leading up to the Tuesday election.
Morrell, who received the bulk of his donations from California businesses and pro-business PACs, has raised more than $150,000 since Jan. 1, campaign finance records show.
From within his own party, Morrell faces competition from fellow Republicans Lonni Granlund, a member of the Yucaipa Valley Water District, and Crystal Ruiz, a San Jacinto councilmember.
Democrats Ameenah Fuller and Ronald O'Donnell are also candidates.
Libertarian Jeff Hewitt, a Calimesa councilmember, is also vying for the seat.
As previously reported, on Dec. 5, Gov. Jerry Brown signed a proclamation calling for a primary special election in State Senate District 23, seeking to fill the vacancy left by former Sen. Bill Emmerson, 68, on Dec. 1 following his resignation.
Emmerson, a Republican, had given an abrupt notice of his resignation on Nov. 8, citing no other reason for his resignation other than a lack of passion.
If no candidate receives a majority of the votes, the top two candidates will face a runoff during the 2014 Statewide Primary Election to be held on June 3, according to the office of Calif. Secretary of State Debra Bowen.
The state's senate district is one of 40.
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