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California race for House seat vacated by Trump ally heads to June runoff

LOS ANGELES — The contest to replace former Republican Rep. Devin Nunes in Central California will present voters with a clear choice: The candidates are a progressive Democrat who supports universal health care and a former Trump administration appointee.

Preliminary results released Friday following a special election on Tuesday showed Democrat Lourin Hubbard winning second place in a June runoff for the vacant seat in the state’s agricultural belt. He will face Connie Conway, a former Republican leader in the state Assembly and California’s executive director of the Department of Agriculture’s Farm Service Agency under the Trump administration. She was the top vote-getter who qualified earlier for the June game.

With most votes counted, Hubbard had just under 20%, with his closest competitor for second-round runoff spot, Republican Matt Stoll, several percentage points behind.

Nunes, one of former President Donald Trump’s most ardent loyalists in Congress, resigned from the 22nd District seat earlier this year to run Trump’s social media company.

The seat in the GOP-leaning district is expected to remain in Republican hands.

Because no candidate was able to claim a majority of votes on Tuesday and win outright, only the top two advanced to a runoff. The run-off will coincide with the June 7 statewide primary elections.

The election for the vacant seat has been largely ignored nationally as Democrats and Republicans focus on the midterm elections that will determine control of Congress in 2023.

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