On March 3, and in the weeks leading up to it, the voters of California's 13th Senate district will have a tough task. With seven candidates vying to become the district's next Senate lawmaker, voters will decide which two will move on to the November general election ballot.
And that election will determine who will represent an area that has a vibrant population of nearly 1 million and is home to many of Silicon Valley's largest companies. The Senate seat is now held by former San Mateo County Supervisor Jerry Hill, who is being termed out of office.
The candidate pool offers voters five Democrats, a Republican and a Libertarian, though their perspectives, when it comes to how they would tackle the issues facing the region, are more nuanced than party lines might suggest.
They have unique areas of expertise and policy goals that they aim to take with them to Sacramento, based on past career, civic, nonprofit or philanthropic efforts.
Candidates debating tonight
The seven candidates for state Senate District 13 will face off in a debate tonight, Feb. 5, from 7:30-9 p.m. The event is sponsored by the Palo Alto Weekly, Palo Alto Online, Mountain View Voice, the Almanac and CalMatters — a nonprofit, nonpartisan newsroom committed to explaining California policy and politics. Find more information on the event here.