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2 legislative seats up for grabs
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SACRAMENTO  (AP) — A run of special elections for open state legislative seats continues this week with primaries for an Assembly and a Senate district, both in Southern California.

Democratic Assemblywoman Holly Mitchell is expected to replace former Democratic state Sen. Curren Price in the 26th Senate District. If she wins the two-person race outright on Tuesday, it will force another special election to fill her Assembly seat.

Meanwhile, 11 candidates are seeking to replace former Democratic Assemblyman Bob Blumenfield in the 45th Assembly District. The top two vote-getters will face off in a special general election on Nov. 19.

Both vacancies were created this summer when Price and Blumenfield were elected to the Los Angeles City Council.

The elections will bolster the supermajority for Democrats in the 40-member Senate, while Democrats in the 80-member Assembly continue hovering near the two-thirds margin. Both chambers adjourned for the year last week.

Mitchell, chairwoman of the Legislative Black Caucus, faces fellow Democrat Mervin Evans, an author and management consultant who has frequently run for public office. He did not list any spending in his latest campaign filing.

The heavily Democratic Senate district, all within Los Angeles County, includes the Hollywood, Hollywood Park, Crenshaw and South-Central neighborhoods of Los Angeles, along with Baldwin Hills, Century City, Culver City and Hyde Park.

Because Price resigned in midterm, the winner must run again next year in a newly-drawn district.

The 45th Assembly District includes the southwest San Fernando Valley communities of Encino, Northridge and West Hills, as well as the cities of Calabasas and Hidden Hills, all in Los Angeles County, plus a sliver of Ventura County.

About 49 percent of voters are registered Democrat, 25 percent Republican and 17 percent decline-to-state.

The field to replace Blumenfield includes seven Democrats, including several who have been aides to other officeholders:

— Elizabeth Badger, a business owner from West Hills who previously ran for Los Angeles City Council.

— Damian Carroll of Encino, a policy analyst for Los Angeles City Councilman Councilmember Paul Krekorian.

— Matt Dababneh of Encino, chief deputy to U.S. Rep. Brad Sherman.

— Dennis DeYoung of Northridge, a businessman and financial consultant who previously ran for the Assembly.

— Jeff Ebenstein of Encino, San Fernando Valley director for Los Angeles City Councilman Paul Koretz.

— Andra Hoffman of Sherman Oaks, who teaches state and local government and politics at Glendale College.

— Dan McCrory, a businessman from Northridge who previously ran for the Assembly.

Three Republicans also are trying for the Assembly seat:

— Armineh Chelebian of Winnetka, an accountant and political consultant who has previously run unsuccessfully for Assembly and Los Angeles City Council seats.

— Chris Kolski, an electrical engineer and party official from West Hills who previously ran for Congress and the Assembly.

— Susan Shelley, an author and former congressional candidate from Woodland Hills.

Eric Lewis, president of the Winnetka Neighborhood Council, is running as an independent.