UPDATE: Nielsen sworn in as new District 4 State Senator

Staff Writer
Mount Shasta Herald
Jim Nielsen is sworn-in as District 4 State Senator with his wife Marilyn holding a family bible Jan. 10, 2013, in the Senate Chambers at the State Capitol in Sacramento.

Former Assembly member Jim Nielsen took nearly 67 percent of the vote to win the Jan. 8 State Senate District 4 special election and was sworn into office two days later in the Senate Chambers at the State Capitol in Sacramento.

Republican Nielsen received 87,738 votes, nearly double that of his Democratic opponent, Michael "Mickey" Harrington, who received 43,903 votes.

Nielsen will complete the remainder of a four-year term originally held by Doug LaMalfa that expires in 2014. LaMalfa was elected to the United States House of Representatives in November.

Nielsen's winning margin was even greater in Siskiyou County, where he received 5,675 votes (69 percent) compared to Harrington's 2,552 (31 percent).

Voter turnout in Siskiyou County was just over 32 percent for the special election.

Redistricting in 2011 moved Siskiyou County into State Senate District 1, which elected Republican Ted Gaines in November 2012.

As explained by Siskiyou County Clerk Colleen Setzer prior to the Jan. 8 election, "Although statewide redistricting completed in 2011 moved Siskiyou County from Senate District 4 to Senate District 1, Siskiyou County voters (participated) in this special election. This is because Siskiyou County was in Senate District 4 at the time the office was originally voted on. State law and court decisions require that all special elections to fill a legislative vacancy include the original district that voted on the position."

Nielsen was surrounded by family and friends today when he took the oath of office, administered by longtime friend Associate Justice George Nicholson, 3rd District Court of Appeals.

"It is a great honor and privilege to serve again," said Nielsen (R-Gerber). "Serving the citizens of the North State has been and continues to be my priority. I will carry on my work to push for a state government that serves the people rather than itself and a business friendly economy."

He said, "Too many willing and able Californians are still unemployed."

Nielsen, who authored Marsy's Law and was co-author of California's Crime Victims' Bill of Rights, vowed to continue his fight to change the recently passed prison realignment law – Assembly Bill 109 – which he maintains has put many dangerous criminals back on the streets.

"I will continue my efforts to stop the crime wave created by AB 109," Nielsen said.

A rancher and former vice chairman of the Assembly Budget Committee, Nielsen thanked his constituents and concluded his remarks saying, "I am humbled by the confidence voters have placed in me, and as always, I will strive to be their voice in the state capitol."

To contact Jim Nielsen, call him at 916-651-4004 or via email at senator.nielsen@sen.ca.gov.