Tuesday's State Senate Race Too Close to Call - NBC Bay Area

Tuesday's State Senate Race Too Close to Call



    Tuesday's State Senate Race Too Close to Call
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    California State Assembly Republican leader Sam Blakeslee (R-San Luis Obispo) speaks with reporters after successfully passing a solution to the state's budget problem July 24, 2009 in Sacramento, California. Governor Schwarzenegger and legislative leaders reached a budget deal Monday to close California's $26 billion budget gap.

    A Republican candidate in a special state Senate election was able to wash off his record as an oil company employee more easily than Democrats had expected.

    But the four-way contest for the 15th Senate District may be headed to an August runoff.

    GOP Assemblyman Sam Blakeslee remains just short of the 50 percent he needs to win the seat outright in Tuesday's primary election.

    Former Democratic Assemblyman John Laird trailed with 41 percent of the vote Wednesday. Two other candidates had about 9 percent combined.

    Thousands of provisional and late mail-in votes are left to be counted.

    Democrats hope to tip the Senate's power balance in their favor. Laird tried to tar Blakeslee as a former Exxon Mobil Corp. employee who supported some offshore drilling.