On September 24, California held a special run-off election to fill the vacant Assembly seat, 52nd district, in San Bernardino and Los Angeles Counties. The run-off was between a Democrat, Freddie Rodriguez, and Paul Leon. Leon, Mayor of Ontario, changed his registration from Republican to independent on the day he filed to run in this election. Earlier this year, he had lost a special State Senate election earlier when he was a Republican.
The unofficial results show a close race. Rodriguez won with 7,054 votes, but Leon received 6,689 votes. It is conceivable that Leon might have won if the election law had allowed him to put “Independent” on the ballot next to his name. But the law forced him to have “No party preference”, a less appealing term. UPDATE: the margin is narrowing as more votes are counted. By the end of business on Wednesday, September 25, the margin was only 314 votes. There are still some uncounted absentee and provisional ballots.