Governor sets date for special election in Long Beach Senate district left vacant by Lara

A special election for the 33rd state Senate District, which includes most of Long Beach and many southeast Los Angeles county cities, will be held June 4 with a primary scheduled first on March 26, according to a proclamation issued by Gov. Gavin Newsom Tuesday.

The seat was vacated by Ricardo Lara after he was elected in November as California insurance commissioner. 

Multiple area politicians have already declared their intention to fill the seat, including Long Beach councilmembers Lena Gonzalez and Al Austin.

Other candidates include Lynwood Councilman Jose Solache, South Gate Councilwoman Denise Diaz, Bell councilmembers Ali Saleh and Ana Maria Quintana as well as Central Valley Water District member Leticia Vasquez-Wilson.

The June 4 election will only be required if there is a runoff in March, according to county Registrar-Recorder Dean Logan.

The governor also proclaimed a special election for the 1st state Senate District in Northeastern California which Ted Gaines left vacant when he won a seat on the state Board of Equalization.

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Stephanie Rivera is the immigration and diversity reporter for the Long Beach Post. Growing up as one of six kids in the working-class immigrant suburb of South Gate, she was taught the importance of civic engagement and to show compassion for others. After graduating from CSULB with a degree in journalism, Stephanie worked for Patch Latino and City News Service before coming to the Long Beach Post in 2015. An avid Harry Potter fan, Stephanie now lives in Bixby Knolls with her boyfriend and their bearded dragon, Austin.