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The Latest: State senator’s wife ahead in California vote

November 6, 2019 GMT
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FILE - In this Aug. 27, 2019, file photo, Democrat Elizabeth Betancourt, left, checks early election results with husband, Pedro Betancourt, at her watch party in Redding, Calif. Elizabeth Betancourt is seeking the Assembly District 1 seat in a special election Tuesday, Nov. 5, 2019, against Republican Megan Dahle. (Mike Chapman/The Record Searchlight via AP, File)
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FILE - In this Aug. 27, 2019, file photo, Democrat Elizabeth Betancourt, left, checks early election results with husband, Pedro Betancourt, at her watch party in Redding, Calif. Elizabeth Betancourt is seeking the Assembly District 1 seat in a special election Tuesday, Nov. 5, 2019, against Republican Megan Dahle. (Mike Chapman/The Record Searchlight via AP, File)

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — The Latest on a California Assembly race (all times local):

9:15 p.m.

A Republican trying to join her husband in California’s Legislature has jumped out to a strong early lead in Tuesday’s special election.

Returns shortly after polls closed show Megan Dahle leading Democrat Elizabeth Betancourt.

Dahle and her rival are trying to succeed Brian Dahle, who represented Assembly District 1 until he won a special state Senate election in June.

Republican registered voters outnumber Democrats by a sizable margin in the sprawling rural district, which stretches from suburban Sacramento to the state’s northeastern corner.

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11:24 p.m.

A Republican attempting to join her husband in California’s Legislature is pitted against a Democratic opponent in a special election that had officials preparing for the possibility of wildfires or blackouts.

Republican Megan Dahle and Democrat Elizabeth Betancourt are each trying to succeed Brian Dahle. He represented Assembly District 1 until he won a special Senate election in June.

The sprawling rural district stretches from suburban Sacramento to the state’s northeastern corner. The district’s registered voters are 40% Republican and 28% Democrats.

Secretary of State Alex Padilla has been working with county elections officials and electric utilities to make sure voting can continue even if there are fires or power outages, though none are expected. Utilities have periodically been blacking out much of California to prevent equipment from sparking fires.