Morrell Polls Better Than 60 Percent To Avoid Runoff To Succeed Emmerson

(March 26) As anticipated, Assemblyman Mike Morell, has won Tuesday’s special election to replace Bill Emmerson as California State Senator in the 23rd District.
Emmerson resigned in December, prompting five candidates – Morrell and another Republican, Crystal Ruiz, Democrats Ameenah Fuller and Ronald O’Donnell and Libertarian  Jeff Hewitt – to seek to replace him in the district that stretches from the eastern tip of Los Angeles County into San Bernardino County through all or parts of Rancho Cucamonga, the foothills of the San Bernardino Mountains, Big Bear Lake, San Bernardino, Highland, Loma Linda, Redlands, Yuciapa and down into Riverside County and the cities of  Banning, Beaumont, Calimesa, Hemet, Menifee and San Jacinto.
Morrell captured a safe majority of the votes, such that there will not be a run-off between the two top vote-getters in the district. As an incumbent state legislator, Morrell was able to bring his superior fundraising capability to bear to vanquish his opposition. He was alone among the field in being able to afford to send electioneering material to the district’s voters.
In San Bernardino County, Hewitt captured 2,358 votes or 6.16 percent. O’Donnell polled 5,554 votes or 14.51 percent. Fuller captured 3,802 votes or 9.93 percent. Morrell was favored by 24,683 voters or 64.46 percent. Ruiz came in last with 1,823 votes or 4.94 percent.
In Riverside County, Hewitt received 1,902 votes or 6.98 percent. O’Donnell captured 4,506 votes or 16.54 percent. Fuller pulled 2,404 votes or 8.82 percent. Morrell claimed 16,322 votes or 59.91 percent. Ruiz, who is a councilwoman in San Jacinto, placed fourth with 2,111 votes or 7.75 percent.
In Los Angeles County, only 33 voters are registered within the 23rd Senatorial District. Two of those casted votes on Tuesday, one for Hewitt and one for Morrell.
Morrell’s victory now creates a vacancy in the California Assembly, where he had been serving in the 40th Assembly District in the current term and where he served in the 63rd Assembly District from 2010 to 2012 prior to the redistricting following the 2010 Census.
The 40th Assembly District seat will likely remain unfilled until after this year’s elections.  Marc Steinorth, Art Bustamante, Kathleen Marie Henry, and Melissa O’Donnell are running in the 40th Assembly District.

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