Our View: Don’t blink or you might miss the District 1 state Senate seat | TheUnion.com

Our View: Don’t blink or you might miss the District 1 state Senate seat

The upcoming special election for the District 1 state Senate seat is like a small town on the highway — blink and you might miss it.

Some of you might not realize there is, in fact, an election on March 26. We just had one a few months back, didn’t we? Shouldn’t there be more time between these things?

Ordinarily, yes. But former District 1 state Sen. Ted Gaines left halfway through his term after securing a seat on the state Board of Equalization. That left a vacancy in the state Senate, which we’re going to fill in under three weeks.

The candidates are: Republicans Brian Dahle, 53, of Bieber; Theodore Dziuba, 34, of Placerville; Rex Hime, 70, of Sacramento; Kevin Kiley, 34, of Rocklin; and Democrat Silke Pflueger, 53, of Truckee.

Democrat Steve Baird, who ran as a Republican two years ago, has since dropped out of the race. His name will appear on the ballot, as they were printed before his announcement.

If no candidate wins at least 50 percent plus one vote, the top two vote-getters advance to a June runoff. And then we do this whole thing all over again.

You might question the importance of this election. Maybe you just blinked and it’s already in the rear view.

Turn the car around if that’s the case. State senators in California represent more people than our U.S. representatives. It’s wise to study the candidates running for this seat. The North State has little representation in the Legislature as it is. We need good folks speaking on our behalf in Sacramento.

There’s plenty of good information about the candidates, including right here in The Union. Study up, get to know the candidates. Make an informed decision when you cast your ballot. You’ve still got time to weigh your options.

The candidates have staked their positions on the issues. You can find them on their websites and in these pages. Immigration, gun rights, health care, fire safety — the candidates have drawn lines around topics they believe will resonate.

Pretty soon we’ll know which ones do.

Dahle and Kiley currently are in the state Assembly. Hime has served in the public and private sectors. Dziuba is on the Placerville Planning Commission. Pflueger is an organizer with Tahoe Truckee Indivisible.

A win by Dahle and Kiley would necessitate another election to fill a vacancy they’d leave in the Assembly. Hime has joked that’s one reason to elect him, as it would add his voice to Dahle and Kiley.

Regardless of your thoughts on this, vote for who you think is the best candidate and will best represent you.

Nevada County makes it easy to cast a ballot. One should already have appeared in your mailbox. Fill it out and mail it in, for free. Or drop it off at one of several drop-off sites or vote centers.

The main vote center for this election is the Eric Rood Administrative Center, 950 Maidu Ave., Nevada City. You can drop off your ballot, vote in person or register to vote at this site.

Voting takes a moment yet has a significant impact on our government. Take the time to have your voice heard.

Otherwise you might blink and the chance will be gone.

Our View is the consensus opinion of The Union Editorial Board, a group of editors and writers from The Union, as well as informed community members. Contact the board at EditBoard@TheUnion.com.

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