Democrat Alex Padilla and Republican Mark Meuser will likely advance to the November general and special elections for U.S. Senator for California.
More than 20 candidates are running to take Sen. Alex Padilla’s seat, vacated by Vice President Kamala Harris.
Californians voted twice for the Senate seat on Tuesday, due to some legal questions surrounding the governor's ability to fill lengthy appointments rather than having a special election replace a senator who leaves office early. One race is to decide whether Padilla can finish this term, while the other involves filling the senate seat in January for a full term.
Candidate Mark Meuser, who trails Padilla in both races, told NBC 7 he believes a Republican can win the seat.
“This is the first time in 10 years a Republican has been in the Top 2 in California for U.S. Senate," Meuser said. "Republicans are really looking forward to having a choice this November. The issues we’re focusing on: inflation energy independence crime and education.”
Meuser said gun-control laws as they pertain to the 2nd Amendment would not change under him.
“We need to take issues where they are and deal with the mental health issues and stop focusing on people's 2nd Amendment rights. That’s not the way to solve the problem.”
For his part, Padilla sounded confident on election night.
"I am excited that voters all across Southern California strongly supported our campaign and believe in our vision of rebuilding opportunity for California’s working families," adding, "I’m ready to win in November and keep up the fight to rebuild economic opportunity for all Californians."
This story is part of NBC 7's live coverage of the 2022 Primary Election in San Diego County. Click here for the live blog
Click here to see preliminary results for San Diego County, state and Congressional races.