Election 2020: State Assembly District 1
With 100% of precincts reporting Wednesday morning, Democrat Elizabeth Betancourt and Republican Megan Dahle appeared headed toward another runoff in Tuesday’s election for the state Assembly District 1 seat.
Dahle had 57,966 votes, compared to Betancourt’s 37,600 votes. Newcomer PK “Paul” Dhanuka, meanwhile, ran as a no party preference candidate and was in third place with 10,328 votes.
The election results are incomplete and unofficial. The top two vote-getters will proceed to a November runoff.
“I am honored and humbled by the continued confidence from the constituents and voters in the 1st Assembly District,” Dahle said. “Tonight’s results are a clear indication on the trust people of the 1st District have placed in me to represent them in Sacramento.”
Betancourt and Dahle have faced each other twice before when they ran in August 2019 for the seat vacated by Brian Dahle, Megan Dahle’s husband. They were the top two vote-getters in a primary involving five candidates. Then, in November, Dahle beat Betancourt 58% to 42%.
Last November, Nevada County voted Betancourt — 11,153 votes to 9,414, or 54% to 46%, the only county that Dahle lost. But, as of 11:33 p.m. Tuesday, Betancourt trailed Dahle in Nevada County, 12,023 to 11,915.
Betancourt has called her experience a plus, saying, “I have been an advocate for rural communities and issues for 20 years. Our advocates at the Capitol are not bringing resources home. I believe in our community, and we deserve better — and we can be better. We need our representative to recognize that we have the ability to create a community that serves everyone.”
Megan Dahle was sworn in to her husband’s Assembly seat in November, but has really been on the job only since the Legislature reconvened on Jan. 6.
She acknowledges that coming in as the successor to husband Brian has made her work easier, as many of her new colleagues already know her.
Dahle sees those relationships “across the aisle” as crucial to her work representing a rural district.
Dhanuka, an Indian immigrant, is a successful physician in Redding. Based on preliminary results, he won’t advance to the runoff.
The district is comprised of part or all of nine counties, including Nevada County.
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