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With mail ballots set to be distributed in the next week for the May 21 special election to replace 80th district state Assemblyman Ben Hueso, Democrat Steve Castaneda is looking to an unlikely source to bolster his campaign against local labor leader Lorena Gonzalez: undecided Republican voters.

Gonzalez, who reports a substantial financial advantage over Castaneda, reported Monday that she had been officially endorsed by the state party over the weekend at the 2013 California Democratic Party State Convention in Sacramento. Gonzalez has already been named as the pick of most of the local Democratic establishment, including Hueso, Representative Juan Vargas, and Mayor Bob Filner, each of whom vacated a job that went to another, starting with Filner’s successful mayoral bid and ending with the vacancy left in the state assembly when Hueso filled Vargas’s seat in the state senate.

Bolstering Castaneda’s chances, his campaign says, is a survey published Friday, April 12 commissioned by KGTV Channel 10 showing Gonzalez with only a slight three point lead and more than a third of likely voters still undecided.

“Republicans represent the largest block of undecided voters,” says a Castaneda campaign release, noting that those Republicans who expressed a preference are breaking for Castaneda by nearly a 2-to-1 margin (33 percent versus 18 percent, with 48 percent still undecided).

In an attempt to court Republicans who don’t have a candidate in the race, Castaneda is referring to himself as the “fiscal conservative and pro business candidate” with a “message of lower taxes and job creation for all” targeting “conservative voters, including older and more affluent constituents.”

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Linc2000 May 6, 2013 @ 2:39 p.m.

There is a Republican running in this Special Election for the 80th State Assembly seat on May 21, 2013. http://www.lincolnpickard.com/80/



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