Voters may elect a new state senator next week in a special election for the 28th senate district comprising the Coachella Valley and a large chunk of Western Riverside County.
Five candidates are in the race and if anyone of them gets 50 percent of the vote plus one, that person will be elected to take over the seat that was vacated by former State Senator Jeff Stone who resigned last fall to take a job in the administration of President Trump.
There are three Democrats: Joy Silver who ran against Stone two years ago, Riverside County Board of Education Member Elizabeth Romero, and Registered Nurse Anna Nevenic.
There are two Republicans: Business owner John Schwab and current 67th District Assemblywoman Melissa Melendez.
Three of the candidates have significant campaign funds.
As of February 15th, Silver had more than $38,000 cash on hand.
Romero was the top democrat, with more than $65,000,
Melendez is the leader, by a wide margin, with $295,000.
She says, "Campaign funds allow you to reach out to voters, that's just a fact, so you can do all the things you need to do."
Among the Democrats, Silver believes she's the logical choice because she came close to beating Stone in 2018.
Silver says, "I've been out there, all the way from Temecula through Blythe. I had spent two years finding out what the priorities are of each of the areas."
Romero says, "I think it's important to have healthy democracy where people can sit down and talk across the kitchen table about who's best to represent their interests."
Nevenic wasn't planning to run until Romero announced her candidacy.
She says, "When Elizabeth entered, then I decided the last two days before to file."
That could split the vote among democrats and hurt any chances of winning a seat that suddenly has more democrats than republicans.
Democrats now have a slight edge in registration in a district that's traditionally been conservative.
Schwab explains why he thinks Republicans have losing ground, "It's an uphill battle because everyone wants something free and somebody has to pay."
Nevenic says her top priority is universal health care.
Romero says education is number one followed by economic development and the environment, including the Salton Sea.
Silver is also focused on the Salton Sea as her number one issue.
On the republican side, Melendez is talking about what she sees as over taxation and the California dream, saying people used to clamor to get into the Golden State.
For Schwab, traffic is his number one priority followed by public safety and gas prices.
Most seem to agree that with five of them running, it's unlikely anyone will win the special election outright on March 3.
That would set-up a run-off election on May 12 between the top two finalists.
Tune in on Monday, for a similar look at the primary in the 42nd Assembly District.
On Super Tuesday, we will have live team coverage on the local elections and the presidential primaries. Tune in all day for complete coverage.