Nielsen beats Harrington

State Senate seat goes to the Republican

With 640 precincts in California’s 4th Senate District “partially or fully reporting,” according to the California Secretary of State’s Office, Republican Jim Nielsen (pictured) has defeated Democrat Mickey Harrington in the special election for the seat given up by now-Congressman Doug LaMalfa last August.

With an undetermined but low number of absentee ballots to count, Nielsen, who claims to live in Gerber but lives outside the district in Woodland, has 87,669 (66.7 percent) votes over Magalia’s Harrington’s 43,866 (33.3 percent). Harrington fared best in Butte and Nevada counties, where he received 39.7 percent of the vote in each. He did poorest in Colusa (24.5) and Glenn (25.9) of the 12-county district.

The special election, created by LaMalfa’s decision to abandon his seat in mid-term to run for Congress, is expected to cost some $2 million, including Butte’s estimated $400,000 share. LaMalfa said he quit when he did to try to avoid the cost of a special election.