Assemblywoman Melissa Melendez, R-Lake Elsinore, will be the Inland Empire’s newest state senator.

Updated special election results posted Friday afternoon, May 15, show her with a commanding lead over her Democratic opponent.

Melendez led Elizabeth Romero by 20,486 votes, 55% to 45%, in the latest results posted on the Riverside County Registrar of Voters website. About 1,000 votes remain to be counted, with the next update scheduled for May 21, the registrar’s office reported on Facebook.

Melendez, a conservative Navy veteran and former Lake Elsinore mayor who has represented a western Riverside County Assembly district since 2012,  declared victory in a Facebook post Thursday.

Republican Assemblywoman Melissa Melendez, of Lake Elsinore, has won a state Senate seat, election results updated Friday, May 15, show. (Rich Pedroncelli, AP file photo)

“Time to take our fight for the taxpayers to Sacramento,” she said. “I won’t let you down!”

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