FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) --With 100-percent of the precincts now reporting Kingsburg Democrat Joaquin Arambula is ahead in the race for the 31st Assembly District seat.
Arambula has 52-percent of the vote while Fresno Republican Clint Olivier has 42-percent. Democrat Ted Miller of Caruthers is a distant third with nearly six-percent. All Arambula needs to win it outright is 50-percent of the vote plus one.
Voter turnout for this special election may have been low, but the candidates said that doesn't undermine its importance. The special election is to fill the seat of Democrat Henry T. Perea who left for the pharmaceutical industry. This seat has been historically Democratic and out of the three candidates, Arambula is favored to win.
The 31st District is one of the poorest in the state. One of the reasons why candidates said they are fighting to represent it.
"By winning this seat outright we would be able to have a champion in Sacramento starting next week, and I think that's important for our Valley to start having a voice-- someone here in Sacremento," said Dr. Joaquin Arambula, democratic candidate.
"We have the same leadership for the past 40 years and we still have a mess here. So I ran to give folks and alternate choice, somebody who could be independent," said Clint Olivier, republican candidate.
When we last spoke to the Olivier camp who was trailing, he said he was hoping nobody would win a majority. That would mean that the candidates would be forced to go to a runoff. At this point it looks like Arambula is going to win it all.
Important information to keep in mind-- the winner of this special election is only guaranteed the seat through December. The primary election for the seat's two year term is just two months away in June. We will see these same faces in that election as well.