Politics

Preliminary results in the special election for State Assembly districts 39, 45 and 54

(File photo) Voters fill out ballots at the McDonald's Play Room in Hollywood on November 6th, 2012.
(File photo) Voters fill out ballots at the McDonald's Play Room in Hollywood on November 6th, 2012.
Mae Ryan/KPCC

Note: This story is no longer being updated. We will have the latest news on the special election by 6 a.m. at kpcc.org.

Polls have closed in the special election to fill three State Assembly district seats that were unexpectedly vacated by lawmakers late last year. 

In all, about 790,000 L.A. County voters were eligible to participate in the election, as well as about 1,300 Ventura County voters. If no candidate secures more than 50 percent of the vote in any of the contests, the top two vote-getters will face off on June 5. Results will be updated below throughout the night (last updated 12:11 a.m. Wednesday).

Locate your polling place and check to see if you live in one of the districts at lavote.net. The links below on the candidate names go to pages on their positions and donors on the nonpartisan website Voter's Edge.

Here's a look at those districts and why they are open:

District 39

Map of State Assembly District 39
Map of State Assembly District 39
California State Assembly Democratic Caucus

Location: This district includes parts of the northeast San Fernando Valley. 

Why it's vacant: The seat had been held by Raul Bocanegra, a Democrat, until he resigned in November after multiple women accused him of kissing or groping them without permission. When he resigned Bocanegra said he hoped to clear his name. He was elected in 2016. 

The candidates:

Five people are on the ballot to replace Bocanegra. Four are Democrats:

One is a Republican:

District 45

A map of the boundaries of California's State Assembly District 45.
A map of the boundaries of California's State Assembly District 45.
California State Assembly Democratic Caucus

Location: This district includes a large part of the western San Fernando Valley.

Why it's vacant: Democrat Matt Dababneh, who was first elected in 2014, resigned in December after a lobbyist alleged he had sexually assaulted her in a bathroom. Dababneh denied the allegations.

The candidates:

Eight people are on the ballot to replace him. Six are Democrats:

One is a Republican:

Candidate Dennis P. Zine, a former L.A. City Councilman, did not list a party affiliation

District 54

A map of the boundaries of California's State Assembly District 54.
A map of the boundaries of California's State Assembly District 54.
California State Assembly Democratic Caucus

Location: Parts of the Westside including Culver City, Inglewood and L.A. city neighborhoods such as Baldwin Hills and Westwood.

Why it's vacant: Democrat Sebastian Ridley-Thomas resigned in late December citing health issues. In a statement, he said he had undergone five surgeries this year and needed time to recover. He did not say what had condition had led to his medical woes. Ridley-Thomas, the son of longtime L.A. County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, was 26 when he was elected to the seat in a 2013 special election.

The candidates:

Four people are on the ballot. Three are Democrats:

One is a Republican:

How to vote

Polls open at 7 a.m. and close at 8 p.m. Vote by mail ballots must be postmarked by election day to be counted. 

What to watch for

With two of the three seats open in this special election due to sexual harassment allegations, some political observers wonder if it may prove a barometer on voter reaction. How much will the spree of sexual harassment scandals that have rocked the state capitol influence the upcoming midterms?

Some analysts expect elections this year are likely to increase the number of women serving in the state legislature.

Currently women hold fewer than a quarter of all state legislative seats in California — ranking the state below the national average, according to the National Conference of State Legislators.

Live Results

KPCC will be tracking election results as they come in. Check back here later tonight to see the latest numbers.

This story has been updated.