By Miriam Raftery
June 9, 2016 (San Diego)—Seven Assembly seats and one state Senate race in San Diego County were among those on the ballot Tuesday. Under the rules for state legislative elections, the top two vote-getters in each race will advance to a run-off in November.
In a startling turn of events, the run-off in the 71st Assembly seat vacated by Brian Jones due to term limits will be between Santee Mayor Randy Voepel and jeweler Leo Hamel in November—despite Hamel announcing he was dropping out of the race shortly after the ballots were printed.
"In a “top-two” primary, the two candidates with the most votes advance to the General Election. The only way a candidate can be removed from the ballot is by dying or via court order. This must occur no later than 68 days before the election (Per Elections Code 8810)," Sam Mahood, press secretary for Secretary of State Alex Padilla told East County Magazine. San Diego Registrar Michael Vu confirmed that state election code provides that Hamel will be on the November ballot, once the results are officially certified.
The district spans two counties. In San Diego, Voepel got 61%, Hamel 27%, and businessman Tony Teora 12%. In Riverside County, the placement order is the same, though Teora had 14% there.