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4 Democrats, 1 Republican enter State Senate race

Candidate nomination period ends ahead of March special primary election

The candidate list for the upcoming State Senate special election is set, with four Democrats and one Republican successfully filing nomination papers last week to qualify for the race to represent Pleasanton and the rest of the 7th State Senate District.

The quintet are vying to fill the seat left vacant when former State Sen. Mark DeSaulnier (D-Concord) resigned to join the U.S. House of Representatives.

The special primary election is scheduled for March 17, with the top two finishers then set to square off in a special election on May 19. The term to be decided expires in 2016.

Sitting State Assemblywoman Susan Bonilla (D-Concord) and former Assemblywoman Joan Buchanan (D-Alamo), both of whom declared their candidacy before the special election was scheduled, confirmed their intentions by submitting their paperwork ahead of last Friday's deadline.

Bonilla was re-elected to her third straight term in the Assembly last November while Buchanan was termed out of the Assembly last year after serving since 2008.

Two other Democrats entered the State Senate contest on deadline day: Orinda Mayor Steve Glazer and Concord resident Terry Kremin.

Glazer ran to succeed Buchanan in the Assembly last year but lost in the June primary. Kremin has run unsuccessfully for the Concord City Council three times, including last November.

The lone Republican in the election is Pleasanton resident Michaela M. Hertle, an information technology professional who works as general manager and partner of Rubiconn, LLC, according to the company's website.

Walnut Creek attorney Mark Meuser, a Republican who lost to DeSaulnier in the State Senate election in 2012, declared his intent to run in the special election late last year but changed course and announced publicly Friday that he was bowing out of the race.

Meuser said in part, "A close examination of how this election was shaping up revealed that the odds of winning were growing to almost impossible."

The 7th State Senate District includes Pleasanton, Livermore and 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.

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