Patrick Ahrens leads in early results for California’s 26th Assembly District
Assembly District 26 candidate Patrick Ahrens, left, and Assemblymember Alex Lee, center look at election results at a watch party. Photo by Brandon Pho.

Local college trustee and political aide Patrick Ahrens is leading a field of six in a race to fill the open seat in California’s 26th Assembly District.

As of 5 p.m. Wednesday, Ahrens is ahead with 34.4% of the vote. Santa Clara County Board of Education Trustee Tara Sreekrishnan is in second with 26.9% and certified public accountant Sophie Yan Song, the only Republican in the race, is in third with about 21.9%. Sunnyvale Councilmember Omar Din follows with 12%.

Bringing up the rear is Libertarian candidate Bob Goodwyn with about 2.9%, and No Party Preference candidate Ashish Garg with 1.6%.

The early results include a voter turnout of about 37.3%, according to the Santa Clara County Registrar of Voters. The registrar’s office is expecting turnout for this primary election to land at about 35% to 45%, officials said on Election Day. There are approximately 1,025 unprocessed ballots remaining.

The top two candidates in the primary will face each other in a runoff during the general election in November.

Assemblymember Evan Low and Patrick Ahrens, who is running for his seat, are pictured at the South Bay Labor Council election night party. Photo by Lorraine Gabbert.

Ahrens, 34, is looking to take over the seat from his boss Assemblymember Evan Low, who himself is seeking higher office. Low has held the seat since 2014.

“I think this is a very strong showing of the campaign we built around the need to address the most pressing issues facing Silicon Valley — universal access to healthcare, transportation, affordable housing and affordable education, which I think voters sent a very strong message in support of,” Ahrens told San José Spotlight.

Ahrens has served as Low’s district director for the past five years. He’s also a member of the Foothill-De Anza Community College District board, serving as president the past two years.

Sreekrishnan, 30, has served on the county board of education since 2021. She also works as state Sen. Dave Cortese’s deputy chief of staff and legislative director. She was previously Cortese’s chief of staff when he was a Santa Clara County supervisor.

“We are excited and grateful for the support we received from the community, we ran a very grassroots campaign and were outspent by incredible amounts,” Sreekrishnan told San José Spotlight Tuesday night. “One thing is clear, our message resonated with voters from all walks of life. It was focused on putting the needs of our community first, improving educational outcomes for every child and ensuring economic opportunity for everyone.”

Sreekrishnan is also the co-founder of Silicon Valley Youth Climate Action — a nonprofit that seeks to combat climate change through education and public policy initiatives.

Song was not immediately available for comment.

Din, 26, was the youngest and first south Asian and Muslim elected to the Sunnyvale City Council when he won his seat in 2020. He’s also a governing member of the VTA board of directors.

“While this isn’t the result we hoped for, I’m incredibly proud of the hard work of our people-powered campaign. I’m especially grateful to the members of the community who were inspired by this campaign to volunteer, donate, and participate in the democratic process for the first time,” Din told San José Spotlight. “This is how we build sustaining faith in our country and our future.”

The top two candidates in the primary will face off in the November general election.

This story will be updated. 

Staff writer Brandon Pho contributed to this story. 

Contact Joseph Geha at [email protected] or @josephgeha16 on Twitter.

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