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CA-48 Special Election

Voters in California's 48th district head to the polls today to select a replacement for ex-Rep. Chris Cox (R), who is now serving as the head of the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The race has drawn a cavalcade of candidates, but state Sen. John Campbell (R) appears to be the frontrunner to claim the seat in the open primary, garnering the endorsement of both Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and the state party.

Under California law, if Campbell receives 50 percent of the vote, he will become the next congressman from the Orange County-area district, which gave President Bush 58 percent of the vote in 2004.  If not, the top vote-getters in the Republican and Democratic parties, along with American Independent Party candidate Jim Gilchrist, would advance to a Dec. 6 general election. Gilchrist has been called a "wild card" in the race, as he may attract votes from conservative Republicans with his anti-illegal immigration platform.

Campbell's main rival is former state Assemblywoman Marilyn Brewer (R), who is considerably more moderate on social issues than Campbell but has raised and spent more than $600,000 on the race -- including a $350,000 personal donation.

Campbell's consulting team includes Sacramento-based operative David Gilliard, who is charged with handling the media, and Arnie Steinberg, the campaign's pollster. Brewer is using Steve Kinney of Public Opinion Strategies as a pollster and Harvey Englander as her media adviser.

This race probably doesn't offer much insight into the 2006 mid-terms unless one of the Democrats manages to produce a strong showing.

Surprisingly, the online open-source encyclopedia Wikipedia has a detailed entry on this special election.

By Chris Cillizza  |  October 4, 2005; 8:00 AM ET
Categories:  House  
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