La Malfa Vacancy: Nielsen wins Special Election

Jim Nielsen

Nine weeks ago, I wrote this article when it appeared that Jim Nielsen had received just over 50% of the vote in the Special Primary Election. He ended falling up a couple hundred votes short, so after correcting that first post, I’m going to rerelease it again tonight:

With Jim Nielsen receiving nearly two thirds of the vote in the runoff, the Special Election to fill the vacancy created by the resignation of State Senator Doug La Malfa has been filled. Nielsen will likely be sworn in as early as Thursday. Because Nielsen will serve less than half of the current term (he will be up for reelection in 2014), he will be eligible for two more full terms, bring his total time in the Senate to just under 22 years.

Senator La Malfa resigned on September 1st, at the end of the Legislative Session.

Election Night Parties (A Lesson from Charles F. Van de Water)

Friday marks the 140th birthday of Congressman-elect Charles F. Van de Water. Van de Water was one of those few elected officials in state history who was elected to an office but never took that seat. Van de Water was killed in a late night car crash while returning home from a party to celebrate his successful campaign.

In this case, Van de Water died November 20, 1920, about two months before he would have assumed the Congressional seat that he had been elected to eighteen days before. In the 1920 election, Van de Water defeated the incumbent, Charles H. Randall (the first Prohibition candidate ever elected to Congress) who later went on to serve on the L.A. City Council.

The lesson to learn here: for those of you planning election night parties, make sure that you have a designated driver (or place to sleep) for anyone who parties a little too hard. You really don’t want something like this to happen.

LINK: New York Times article about the crash