Brian Dahle, Kevin Kiley advance to June 4 runoff for District 1 state Senate seat | SierraSun.com

Brian Dahle, Kevin Kiley advance to June 4 runoff for District 1 state Senate seat

Brian Dahle and Kevin Kiley, both state assemblymen and candidates for the District 1 state Senate seat, are headed to a June 4 runoff.

Dahle, 53, of Bieber, took the most votes in Tuesday’s special election — 44,764, or 28.7 percent. District 6 Assemblyman Kiley, 34, of Rocklin, came in second with 44,519 votes, or 28.5 percent, according to unofficial totals.

No candidate garnered 50 percent plus one vote, which was needed to avoid a runoff. The top two vote-getters will advance to the June election.

“We’re halfway there,” Dahle said Wednesday. “We’ve got a lot more work to do.”

Kiley said he’s pleased with the results and expects to be the frontrunner, once remaining votes are counted and Tuesday’s vote is certified. He added that he’s in a strong position to win the runoff.

Dahle performed well in counties within his Assembly district, which includes Nevada County. Kiley won counties in his own district, which includes portions of El Dorado, Placer and Sacramento counties.

“We’re just going to keep doing what we’ve been doing,” Kiley said. “We’ve gotten a tremendous response from the district.”

The state Senate district includes counties in both assemblymen’s districts.

Dahle said he must reach out to voters in counties where Kiley performed well.

“I’m going to continue to educate the voters and hopefully build their trust,” Dahle said.

Kiley said he will continue to introduce himself to counties outside his Assembly district, including Nevada County.

“The people are hungry for new leadership in this state,” said Kiley, who first won his Assembly seat in 2016.

The lone Democrat in the race, Silke Pflueger, came in third with 40,304, or 25.8 percent. Steve Baird, a Democrat who dropped out of the race weeks ago, won 9,035 votes, or 5.8 percent.

Pflueger pointed to a mailer that supported Dahle and suggested Baird as a “clear” choice for Democrats. Associations and political groups, not Dahle, paid for the advertisement.

“I ran an honest campaign,” Pflueger said. “It is what it is.

“He wasn’t a Democrat,” Pflueger added, referring to Baird. “He was never a Democrat.”

Baird ran in 2016 as a Republican for the District 1 state Senate seat.

Contacted Wednesday by email and asked for comment, Baird stated only: “I have withdrawn from the race.”

Pflueger said she’d have reached the top two if not for Baird’s name on the ballot. Half of Baird’s votes would have put her in first place.

“It was a lot of work and I think I did well,” she added. “I wish the two gentlemen who made it through all the best. It’s politics. What can I say?”

To contact Staff Writer Alan Riquelmy, email ariquelmy@theunion.com or call 530-477-4239.