Sam Blakeslee to run for Abel Maldonado's seat in California Senate's 15th District

Sam Blakeslee, the Central Coast’s assemblyman for the past six years, will run for the California Senate seat vacated Tuesday by the ascendancy of Abel Maldonado to the lieutenant governorship.

In a conversation with The Tribune editorial board Thursday, Blakeslee said will make the official announcement at 9 a.m. Friday.

In seeking the office, Blakeslee said the 33rd Assembly District and the larger 15th Senate District are “remarkably similar,” in their focus on agriculture and protecting the environment, among other things.

Blakeslee will run as a conservative Republican who seeks to build consensus with Democrats.

He said returning jobs to California will be a major theme of his campaign, and he will focus on streamlining costly regulations as well as major tax reform.

Blakeslee is expected to face opposition from former Assemblyman John Laird of Santa Cruz, a Democrat.

The special primary election for the Senate seat will be held June 22. If nobody takes 50 percent plus one of the votes, there will be a runoff election in August.