The Dahles passed their first test on the path to reelection in the North State on Tuesday. The husband and wife team of Republican lawmakers each placed first in their respective primary contests, setting up head-to-head matchups against Democrats in the November general election.

The Dahles passed their first test on the path to reelection in the North State on Tuesday. The husband and wife team of Republican lawmakers each placed first in their respective primary contests, setting up head-to-head matchups against Democrats in the November general election.

In the Assembly race, incumbent Assemblywoman Megan Dahle won about 55% of the vote, setting up a rematch between her and second-place finisher Democrat Elizabeth Betancourt, a Happy Valley watershed scientist who received about 36% of the vote.

Redding doctor Paul Dhanuka, who ran without party affiliation, earned about 10% of the vote, ending his campaign since only the top two candidates will advance.

In the Senate race, incumbent Sen. Brian Dahle took about 62% of the vote, cruising to a first-place finish over his competitors. Democrat Pamela Dawn Swartz, a businessowner who received about 32% of the vote, will advance to face Dahle in November. Linda Kelleher, a public educator running without party preference, had about 6% of the vote.  

Megan Dahle: Results show “clear indication” of trust

Tuesday’s results end a contentious campaign between Megan Dahle and Dhanuka, each of whom vied for conservative votes in the 1st Assembly District.

In attack ads, Dhanuka sought to paint Dahle as someone who inherited their seat from their husband and gave special treatment to interest groups. At the same time, pro-Dahle ads said Dhanuka’s campaign was built on “hollow promises” and played up a fraud lawsuit filed against him in 2012.

In a statement Tuesday, Dahle said she was honored by the voters’ continued confidence in her.

“Tonight's results are a clear indication on the trust people of the 1st District have placed in me to represent them in Sacramento,” she said.

Betancourt said she’s excited that she’ll have another eight months to make her case to North State voters. Part of her strategy is asking voters to examine Dahle’s record.

"Look at what our current Assembly member has been doing or not and (ask) is that serving our district," Betancourt said.

First-time candidate to face Brian Dahle

Betancourt also gave credit to Swartz, the Nevada County Democrat trying to unseat Brian Dahle in the general election. Swartz trailed Dahle by about 30% of the vote, and she said her next job is to close that gap.

“I can hardly wait to start advocating for the North State and explain to (voters) why they should hire me," she said.

Like Betancourt, Swartz asked North State voters to look at Dahle’s voting record and ask themselves if it has benefited them, highlighting issues like fire mitigation, education and healthcare.

Dahle, who was first elected to the Assembly in 2012, became a state Senator in 2019 after Ted Gaines vacated the seat for another position. From an election night party in Redding, he said he was humbled by Tuesday’s primary results.

"I'm going to continue to work on the things I've been working on," Dahle said, "fire, public power and safety shutoffs, insurance, water and getting businesses here."

The general election is scheduled for Nov. 3. The vote-percentage figures in this article were current as of 1:30 a.m. Wednesday morning.