Republican candidate running in GOP primary

California Sen. Alex Padilla is campaigning hard — just not for himself.

The six-term Democrat is running in a hotly contested primary in Tuesday’s GOP primary for the 45th Assembly District, a seat that is currently held by his sister, state Sen. Steve Knight, who represents the district in the Assembly as part of the two-term Republican majority.

Padilla is looking to shake up the race for the Republican nomination against Christine Johnson, a physician assistant who is the former leader of California Republican Party. The primary will be held at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, and Padilla has just over 10 days to get out the vote and raise over $1.5 million to ensure a victory.

But Padilla is not the only candidate running in this race.

Also running is Brian Kline, a former political aide, who would be the candidate Padilla’s sister, Knight, had picked before he left the party.

“I’m really looking forward to having a primary in my own right,” Kline told The Sacramento Bee in an interview, adding, “I think that it’s what we need. I think we have a really good candidate.”

Padilla was on one of Knight’s primary campaigns. He said he has been trying to get the Democratic Party to field someone to challenge Padilla, who is seeking the seat that the incumbent, Knight, won in 2016. (Knight would be term-limited out in 2020.)

“I’m still trying to get another candidate nominated,” Padilla said. “I’m still trying to get it in the Democrat primary.”

His effort will also involve a high-dollar get-out-the-vote campaign, one in which he has raised about $700,000, according to the California Secretary of State’s financial disclosure reports.

“I’m just trying to help my sister so she can win the election, and then help the people of the 45th,” Padilla said. “I’ve

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