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Voters to elect new State Senator for District 7 today

Polls open 7 a.m.-8 p.m. in balloting for Susan Bonilla or Steve Glazer

Voters in Pleasanton and other parts of the East Bay are poised to decide their next state senator Tuesday, with Democrats Steve Glazer and Susan Bonilla squaring off in the special runoff election.

Glazer, Orinda's mayor, was the top vote-getter in the special primary election two months ago with 33.7% of the vote while Bonilla, a State Assembly member from Concord, finished second with 24.9% among the remaining four candidates on the ballot.

With no candidate earning more than 50% of the vote in March, the stage was set for the two-person runoff this week to fill the State Senate District 7 seat left vacant when Mark DeSaulnier resigned after being elected to Congress last November.

Polls open at 7 a.m. Tuesday, and all vote-by-mail ballots must also be submitted by Tuesday.

The 7th State Senate District spans parts of two counties, with about four-fifths in Contra Costa County and the remainder in northeast Alameda County, including Pleasanton and Livermore.

Participation in the special primary came in at 23.58% of registered voters, with turnout higher in Contra Costa (24.95%) than Alameda (19.17%), according to final results reported by the two counties.

The 7th District also includes Sunol at the south end, Brentwood, Antioch, Pittsburg and Concord to the north, Orinda, Lafayette and Walnut Creek to the west, and the San Ramon Valley.

Glazer, a small business owner and former adviser to Gov. Jerry Brown, is in his 11th year on the Orinda City Council.

He gained recognition regionally last year when he campaigned unsuccessfully for the 16th Assembly District seat, finishing outside the top two in that primary election last June.

A former high school English teacher, Bonilla began her career in elected office on the Concord City Council and then later became a Contra Costa County supervisor.

She is in her third term in the State Assembly, representing the 14th District, which includes parts of northern Contra Costa County, plus Vallejo and Benicia in Solano County. She is due to be termed out of the Assembly next year.

The 7th State Senate District includes a portion of Bonilla's Assembly District.

The winner of the special election will fill an abbreviated term, the remainder of DeSaulnier's four-year term set to expire in 2016.

Polling places are open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday. Vote-by-mail ballots returned by mail must be postmarked on or before Election Day. They can also be taken to the county election office, polling places or select area city halls.

For more information, visit the Alameda County Registrar of Voters' Office website.

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