Registrar’s Office Welcomes Candidacy Papers for Open Senate Seat

RIVERSIDE – Beginning Saturday, nominating papers will be accepted for those seeking the 23rd Senate District seat left vacant when Bill Emmerson resigned.

Registrar of Voters’ offices in Riverside and San Bernardino counties will be open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday to supply prospective candidates with required materials, process filing fees and answer questions.

Candidates have until Jan. 31 to file the papers and pay applicable fees.

Gov. Jerry Brown last month ordered a special election to fill the seat following the unexpected resignation of Emmerson in November. Emmerson cited a lack of ”passion and commitment” for the job as reasons for his departure.

The special election will be held March 25. If no candidate wins a majority of votes, the two top finishers will square off a final time during the June 3 primary.

According to Riverside County Registrar of Voters Kari Verjil, prospective candidates must be registered voters and must submit a declaration of candidacy with a nominating petition bearing the names of 40 registered voters who support the candidacy.

The filing fee is $952.91, but the fee will be waived if prospective candidates collect 3,000 signatures from registered voters on an in-lieu-of- filing-fee petition. Anything less than that amount and the fee is reduced at 31 cents for every signature, Verjil said.

According to the registrar, only one filing fee has to be paid, even though the district encompasses two counties. She said candidates who wish to post a 250-word statement on sample ballots must pay $2,500 in Riverside County.

Assemblyman Mike Morrell, R-Rancho Cucamonga, has already declared himself in the running for the vacated seat.

Boundaries of the 23rd Senate District were drawn up after the decennial census in 2010. The district southern boundary is at Hemet, the northern boundary at Big Bear, eastern boundary at Cabazon and western boundary at Rancho Cucamonga.

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