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Glazer Tops Bonilla in High-Stakes Senate Battle

Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio

Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio

A California state Senate race that’s turned into a proxy war between labor and business appears to have gone to the candidate backed by the business groups.

As of late Tuesday night, Orinda Mayor Steve Glazer led Asm. Susan Bonilla (D-Concord) by more than 10,000 votes – 55 percent to 45 percent – in the special election for California’s 7th Senate District, east of San Francisco. 

The race will not affect the balance of power in Sacramento but has been viewed as a key battle within the Democratic Party. The top-two runoff between the two Democrats drew millions of dollars in outside spending.

Glazer, a political consultant, helped Jerry Brown get elected governor in 2010 and worked to pass Proposition 30 in 2012. But he angered labor by helping the California Chamber of Commerce elect some pro-business Democrats.

That led to strong opposition from the unions, who – along with the California Democratic Party – endorsed Bonilla. Glazer himself benefitted from big spending by business and charter school groups.

In a statement late Tuesday night, Glazer said he'll work to "advance progressive ideals in ways that are financially responsible."

Ben Adler

Capitol Bureau Chief

Capitol Bureau Chief Ben Adler first became a public radio listener in the car on his way to preschool – though not necessarily by choice. Now, he leads Capital Public Radio’s state Capitol coverage, which airs on NPR stations across California.  Read Full Bio 

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