Retired Santa Cruz County Clerk Gail Pellerin holds a steady lead in the four-way race for the 28th Assembly District, according to election officials.
Results from the June 7 primary election, posted on the California Secretary of State’s website, show Pellerin leading the vote tally with 34% or 18,554 votes. Trailing her are Monte Sereno City Councilmember Liz Lawler with about 31% of the counted votes, Los Gatos Mayor Rob Rennie with about 26% and union organizer Joe Thompson with about 10% of the votes counted.
The results on the Secretary of State’s site were last updated at 5:39pm June 8.
The top two vote-getters in the primary election head to the general election in November.
The newly redrawn Assembly District 28 includes Los Gatos and also covers north Santa Cruz County, Morgan Hill and southern San Jose.
Pellerin retired as Santa Cruz County clerk in 2020. From 1993 to 2004 she was Santa Cruz County’s elections manager under then-County Clerk Richard Bedal, and was eventually appointed to the permanent role after some of the duties of that office were split. She went on to win re-election four times, running unopposed each time.
Since retirement, Pellerin has been encouraging women to run for elected office through the Women in Leadership for Diverse Representation program. She has also joined the National Alliance on Mental Illness and has been active with women-serving organizations such as Girls Inc. and Women’s Educational Success at Cabrillo College. She has also spearheaded the creation of the Cabrillo College Local Government Fellows program, which aims to encourage students to get involved in local government by providing scholarships and paid internships and mentorships.
Lawler, a native of Los Angeles, moved to Monte Sereno with her family in 2013, and was elected to the city council in 2018, serving a year as mayor in 2020. She earned a bachelor’s degree in political science from UC Berkeley. Lawler is the only Republican candidate on the June 7 ballot for the 28th District seat.
Rennie, who has worked for decades in the semiconductor and solar industries, has served on various boards before being elected to the Town Council in 2014, and previously served as mayor in 2018. Rennie holds a master’s degree in engineering from Dartmouth College, and has been living in Los Gatos since 1997.