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Issues & Ideas: Four candidates run to succeed Monning in California Senate

State Senate candidates, clockwise from top left, Maria Cadenas, John M. Nevill, Vicki Nohrden and John Laird.

Today is Election Day, when California voters will decide the primary races—not only to select their presidential and congressional favorites, but local and state representatives as well. There are four candidates running for the 17th District seat, representing the Central Coast, in the state Senate. Senator Bill Monning, who has held that seat for several years, is termed out. 

California's 17th Senate District encompasses a big area—covering all of Santa Cruz and San Luis Obispo counties as well as portions of Monterey and Santa Clara counties. Cities include Santa Cruz, Watsonville, Gilroy, San Luis Obispo, Morgan Hill, Seaside, Paso Robles, Atascadero, Monterey, and several more smaller cities. According to Senator Monning's website, strongly shared interests within the district include regional agricultural economies, coastal and open space preservation, and environmental protection.

The district is largely Democratic, with just 24 percent registered Republicans and 27 percent of voters registered as no party preference.

KCBX News invited all four candidates—Maria Cadenas, John Laird, John M. Nevill and Vicki Nohrden—into the studio to learn more, and for the next 25 minute or so we’ll hear from each about why they chose to run and what’s important to them.

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