Monning, Kain automatically advance in state Senate race

Incumbent Democratic State Sen. Bill Monning, left, and Republican challenger Palmer Kain.
Incumbent Democratic State Sen. Bill Monning, left, and Republican challenger Palmer Kain. Courtesy photos

As the only two candidates running for the 17th District state Senate seat, incumbent Democrat Bill Monning and Republican challenger Palmer Kain, will automatically advance to the Nov. 8 general election for a final showdown.

If it is any indication of how the fall election may go, Tuesday’s primary results gave Monning 65.3 percent of the vote to Kain’s 34.7 percent, according to unofficial results from the California Secretary of State.

Monning, 65, is running for his second term in the state Senate in support of the Democratic party agenda, particularly increased spending on education and firefighting services, water conservation and environmentalism. He co-authored the groundbreaking End of Life Option Act, which takes effect this week and allows a doctor to prescribe a lethal dose of drugs for a terminally ill patient at the patient’s request.

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A former lawyer and educator, Monning previously served one term in the state Assembly from 2008 to 2012 before being elected to the Senate.

Kain, 37, is a U.S. Army veteran, and has since worked in agriculture insurance and as an e-commerce manager of a juice company, among other jobs. He ran unsuccessfully for the state’s 29th Assembly District seat in 2014.

Kain is running on a platform of lower taxes and less governmental regulations on businesses, as well as spending money on roads and other infrastructure instead of on the high-speed rail project.

The 17th Senate District includes all of San Luis Obispo and Santa Cruz counties, as well as portions of Monterey and Santa Clara counties.