Gaines, Rowen advance in state senate race |

Gaines, Rowen advance in state senate race

Ted Gaines
Submitted Photo |


State Senate - District 1

Rob Rowen (D) 68,288 (36.6%)

Steven Baird (R) 26,054 (14%)

Ted Gaines (R) 92,030 (49.4%)

Incumbent Ted Gaines will defend his District 1 state senate seat in the November general election after easily advancing in Tuesday’s primary election.

As of 1:11 a.m., with 93 percent of precincts reporting, Gaines had received 49.4 percent of the vote, according to totals released by the California Secretary of State. Challenging Gaines on the November ballot will be Democrat Rob Rowen, who also advanced to the general election; Rowen had received 36.6 percent of the vote. In a statement, Gaines said he was “pleased” with the evening’s election results.

“It proves that my positive message of stopping tax increases and limiting government spending resonated with voters across the north state,” Gaines said. “I look forward to continuing this work on behalf of the people of Nevada County.”

Rowen thanked the voters for their support, and said his campaign will now turn its attention to fundraising and engaging District 1 residents.

“Let’s build on this and take it to Gaines in November,” Rowen said.

Republican challenger Steve Baird, 52, a Placer County resident who works for the Sacramento County Department of Technology and is a leader in the State of Jefferson movement, finished third in the race; Baird received 14 percent of the vote. Gaines, 58, of El Dorado, has held the District 1 state senate seat since 2011, when he won a special election to replace David Cox, who died while serving in office.

Gaines was re-elected to the seat in 2012 over Democrat Julie Griffith-Flatter after receiving 63 percent of votes. Gaines also represented the 4th State Assembly District from 2006-2011.

During his time in the state senate, Gaines has worked to halt tax increases and support small business owners. He’s been outspoken against California’s high speed rail project, and criticized legislation that increased the state’s hourly minimum wage to $15 in 2022. Rowen, 51, of Cottonwood, is a self-described “moderate Democrat.” The former professional baseball player and Army veteran launched his campaign after being asked by party leaders to fill the open Democratic slot on the ballot.

Rowen’s campaign has stressed his lack of ties to political interest groups or partisan politics. He’s advocated for improving access to high-speed internet and improving infrastructure to create job opportunities in District 1.

To contact Staff Writer Emily Lavin, email or call 530-477-4230.

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