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First Take: Republicans hold on in key state Senate race. Jerry Brown's use of state plane gets a closer look.

August 18, 2010 |  7:03 am

Republicans had a big night Tuesday, holding on to a pivotal Central Coast state Senate seat as Assemblyman Sam Blakeslee (R-San Luis Obispo) defeated Democrat John Laird in a special election.

Michael Mishak looks at Jerry Brown's use of a state-owned plane while he has served as attorney general.

Carly Fiorina took a harder line against a mosque in downtown Manhattan during a campaign stop in Sacramento on Tuesday.

Michael Hiltzik looks at a suspicious water deal in the Central Valley that is now the subject of a lawsuit.

In addition to big salaries, the city of Bell also offered employees as much as $900,000 in loans.

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-- Anthony York in Sacramento