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Special Election: Morrell wins state Senate seat

Assemblyman Mike Morrell, R-Redlands, urged lawmakers to reject  a measure by Assemblyman Gil Cedillo, D-Los Angeles, unseen, that would allow students who are in the country illegally, to collect privately funded college scholarships, was approved by the Assembly at the Capitol in Sacramento, Calif., Thursday, May 5, 2011.  The bill was approved by a 51-21 party-line vote and sent to the Senate (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)
Rich Pedroncelli/AP
In this file photo, Assemblyman Mike Morrell, R-Rancho Cucamonga, urges lawmakers to reject a measure by Assemblyman Gil Cedillo, D-Los Angeles, unseen, that would allow students who are in the country illegally to collect privately funded college scholarships. Morrell won a special election for a state Senate seat on Tuesday.

Assemblyman Mike Morrell, R-Rancho Cucamonga, won Tuesday's special election in the 23rd Senate District.

Morrell received 62.6 percent of the vote, with all 811 precincts reporting, according to semi-official results released by the Secretary of State's Office.

Democrat Ronald O'Donnell, an attorney, was second with 15.3 percent, followed by Democrat Ameenah Fuller, a health care policy consultant, with 9.5 percent, Calimesa City Councilman Jeff Hewitt, a Libertarian, with 6.5 percent and San Jacinto Mayor Crystal Ruiz, also a Republican, at 6.1 percent.

Under California's top two primary system, if one candidate captures a majority of the votes, they win outright and there is no run-off in the general election.

The special primary election was necessitated by the resignation of Sen. Bill Emmerson, R-Redlands, who said his "level of commitment'' had waned, and he felt constituents deserved better representation.

In campaign literature, Morrell touted his legislative experience and two decades as a business owner. He said if elected, he would push for a balanced state budget, a reduction in the state bureaucracy and higher academic standards.