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Bradford wins 51st Assembly seat in special election

September 2, 2009 |  6:48 pm

Gardena Councilman Steve Bradford won Tuesday’s special election for the Los Angeles area’s 51st Assembly District, but a Nov. 3 runoff will be required to settle the Bay Area’s 10th Congressional District race.

Bradford finished first in a six-way race with 52.9% of the vote, followed by Gloria Gray (19.2%), David Coffin (17.1%), Robert Pullen-Miles (4.9%), Thomas Jefferson Cares (4.6%) and Mervin Leon Evans (1.2%). All the candidates are Democrats except Coffin, a Republican.

The seat became vacant when Curren Price Jr. was elected to the state Senate earlier this year.

In a 14-candidate race to succeed Democratic Rep. Ellen Tauscher in the Bay Area, Lt. Gov. John Garamendi, also a Democrat, placed first with 26% of the vote but fell short of the majority needed to avoid a runoff.

He will face Republican attorney David Harmer, who collected 20.5% of the votes, and three minor-party candidates.

Tauscher left her seat to take a job in the Obama administration.

Ballot-tallying in both contests was delayed slightly to give firefighters battling wildfires a chance to cast votes.

-- Jean Merl