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Assemblyman favored to replace disgraced senator
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LOS ANGELES (AP) — A termed-out state assemblyman was favored Tuesday to succeed state Sen. Rod Wright, who resigned in September after being sentenced for lying about where he lived when he ran for office.

Isadore Hall, a Democrat from Compton, is the only one of four candidates to spend significant money on his campaign for the 35th Senate District seat, a heavily Democratic area within Los Angeles County. Hall, who termed out of the Assembly last month, spent more than $640,000.

He also has lined up a raft of endorsements, including those of the California Democratic Party, California Teachers Association and Los Angeles County Federation of Labor, and from a host of elected leaders including Gov. Jerry Brown and Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti.

The other Democrats seeking to complete the final two years of Wright’s term are Louis Dominguez, a retired teacher from San Pedro, and Hector Serrano, a harbor planning commissioner from Wilmington. The Republican is James Spencer, a businessman from Inglewood.

Turnout was expected to be very light. As of Monday, just 18,000 of the roughly 139,000 vote-by-mail ballots distributed had been returned.

Hall will avoid a runoff if he wins more than half the votes. If no candidate wins a majority, the top two vote-getters, regardless of party affiliation, will face each other Feb. 10.

Wright, a Democrat, resigned rather than face possible expulsion after he was sentenced to 90 days in jail on convictions of perjury and voter fraud. He is appealing.

In separate cases earlier this year, two other Democratic state senators pleaded not guilty to federal bribery and corruption charges. Sen. Ron Calderon of Montebello and Sen. Leland Yee of San Francisco are both termed out now.