Final tally: Gaines, Campanale move on to May 3 Assembly election tilt

By: Gus Thomson, Journal Staff Writer
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Placer County’s final count from the March 8 special election has confirmed Republican Beth Gaines and Democrat John Campanale as opponents in a May 3 runoff. John Allard, a Roseville City Councilman, had a mathematical chance of catching Gaines for the second slot on the ballot and chipped away at her lead. But Placer County’s final tally – including about 3,000 votes counted late – left Gaines leading. Gaines and Campanale move forward from an initial field of eight. They’re both relative newcomers to elections and neither has held public office. Gaines, the wife of state Sen. Ted Gaines, R-Roseville, is seeking the District 4 Assembly seat her husband vacated when he was sworn in last January. Like Gaines, Campanale has never held an elected government post. But he did run for the Assembly District 4 seat last November, losing to Ted Gaines. This time around he’s running against Gaines’s spouse and hopes to win this round. Campanale said he’ll be depending on a strong turnout from independents and Democrats in a district that traditionally has heavy Republican support. “She much more conservative than I am,” Campanale said Tuesday.” I would be a more progressive, moderate member of the Assembly, who would work with both parties. It’s going to come down to the bipartisanship I can offer.” The four-county total for Campanale was 21,977 votes on the final count. Beth Gaines garnered 15,952, while Allard had 15,226. On election night, after a semi-official count, Gaines was leading Allard by 655 votes in the four-county district. As well as Placer, the district includes Alpine County and portions of Sacramento and El Dorado counties. While Allard made up about 200 votes in the Placer County count, he wasn’t able to make up the districtwide difference and will be on the sidelines as Gaines moves on. Gaines’ strength among El Dorado County voters proved the difference. She polled 5,826 votes in El Dorado County to Allard’s 4,164. Campanale led all eight candidates with 31.8 percent of the vote March 8. Neither Allard nor Gaines could be reached for comment Tuesday. Cheryl Bly-Chester, a Roseville-area engineer and Republican who finished fourth in the special election, said Tuesday that she had not committed to endorsing Gaines’ candidacy but would consider it. She finished with almost 10 percent of the vote. Allard’s position on endorsing Gaines is also not known. “I certainly won’t endorse a Democrat,” Bly-Chester said. “But I don’t endorse a candidate unless we have a chance to talk.”