Democrat Tom Hallinan and Republican Greg Aghazarian will vie for the 26th Assembly District seat in November, following successful bids in Tuesday's primary.
The 26th District includes Lockeford, Clements and most of Victor, as well as cities such as Turlock and Patterson in central Stanislaus County.
Hallinan, of Modesto, easily defeated his only challenger, Tim Weintz Sr., of Stockton. Unofficial results with all 384 precincts reporting show Hallinan received 74.6 percent of the vote to 25.4 percent for Weintz.
"We're looking forward to the challenge for the general election," Hallinan said late Tuesday. "We think the people here vote the person, not the party. When they compare us, we're going to win in November."
Aghazarian beat out fellow Republican candidates Chuck Winn and Rick Veldstra.
Aghazarian, 37, of Stockton, received 50.8 percent of the vote.
Veldstra was second with 25.3 percent. Winn finished with 23.9 percent.
"We're very excited about the numbers," Aghazarian said late Tuesday. "I'm just humbled by the support I've received here. I'm looking forward to getting to Sacramento to work for the good people of the Valley."
Hallinan, 39, is a city attorney for several valley communities. He also serves as a captain in the California National Guard.
He grew up in the San Joaquin Valley and graduated from California State University, Fresno. After law school, he became a criminal prosecutor with the United States Department of Justice.
He is also a trustee for the Yosemite Community College District.
Going into the November race, Hallinan's top priorities include increasing student transfer rates to four-year colleges, expanding vocational programs and public/private business partnerships, and "doing the public's business in public," he said.
Hallinan holds positions with several other boards including the 38th District Agricultural Association/Stanislaus County Fair Board, the Stanislaus County Farm Bureau, the Modesto Chamber of Commerce and Latino Community Roundtable, the Stanislaus County Adult Day Care Planning Council and the Big Brothers/Big Sisters Board of Directors.
Going into November's election, Aghazarian is interested in issues affecting education reform and farming, and improving the local quality of life.
"It's important we return control to the local level for schools," he said. "Plus, we need to cut the wasteful spending in government. We've got to make sure Sacramento lives within its budget."
He also plans to fight for lower taxes, bring state government spending under control, and protecting water and private property rights.
Aghazarian is president of the Lincoln Unified School District Board of Trustees and is a member of the Stockton Parks and Recreation Commission.
On Tuesday, voters in northern San Joaquin County admitted they were unfamiliar with the candidates.
"The 26th Assembly District is not important to me," said Danny Bauer, who has lived almost 13 years in Lockeford, after voting at the Mokelumne fire station on Brandt Road.
Vicki Kroll, who voted at the Victor fire station Tuesday, echoed Bauer's sentiments when she said District 26 was "not an interest."
Rosie Cuevas-Wahlen, who voted at the Lockeford station, was also not familiar with 26th District candidates and had no comment about who she would favor.
News-Sentinel staff writer Ross Farrow contributed to this report.
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