A special election in a state Senate district along California's Central Coast is producing intense interest, big campaign donations and even an endorsement from President Barack Obama.
Tuesday's election in the 15th Senate District is all about control in the Legislature.
If John Laird wins the open seat in the five-county district, it would bring Democrats within one vote of the two-thirds majority they need in the Senate to approve budgets and tax increases.
Laird faces Republican Assemblyman Sam Blakeslee in the swing district.
While Democrats outnumber Republicans, voters favored Blakeslee in the June primary to replace former Sen. Abel Maldonado, a Republican who left to become lieutenant governor.
KSBW.com has a special section on the race including raw interviews with both candidates. Check that here.
Published at 10:24 AM PDT on Aug 15, 2010 | Updated at 10:30 AM PDT on Aug 15, 2010
Copyright Associated Press / NBC Bay Area